SIX congressmen from Negros Occidental voted in favor of former president and Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo as the new Speaker of the House.
They are Bacolod City Representative Greg Gasataya, First District Representative Melecio Yap Jr., Second District Leo Cueva, Third District Representative Alfredo Benitez, Fifth District Representative Alejandro Mirasol, Sixth District Representative Mercedes Alvarez and Abang Lingkod party-list Representative Stephen Joseph Paduano.
Only Fourth District Representative Juliet Marie Ferrer was not able to cast her vote due to an official leave of absence.
Gasataya said he voted in favor of Arroyo because her husband, former first gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo, is a son of Negros and it would be fitting to support somebody who has roots in the province.
Paduano said the Visayan Bloc decided to vote Arroyo by affixing their signature in the change of leadership.
"Some political parties have already decided. The Visayan Bloc met in the morning and we decided to sign a manifesto to vote for the new leadership under Cong. Arroyo. She raised the trust and respect for the House of Representatives,” he said.
There were a lot of happening between the House and the Senate and with this development, the working relationship of both chambers can be strengthened, he said.
After 184 votes and 12 abstentions, Arroyo was formally installed as Speaker of the House last night, ousting former House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez.
Bacolod City Mayor Evelio Leonardia said, "this is how the ball rolls. The world is round and in politics, you can never tell what is going to happen next. The moral lesson here, it is spinning, it is turning."
Councilor Ricardo Tan, a loyal Arroyo supporter, said he is proud of the former president. “I believe that her experience and her passion to serve will not only be confined to Congress but to the whole country.”
With this new development, he hopes to see a political situation that will become favorable to him. "If all those sectors and groups that I talked will continue to support me, we can see the change in Bacolod."