#SONA2018 Reaction: Post Script on History


Before we end, the Third SONA was also one for the books, not only for the sheer number of anti-SONA demonstrators (estimated to be about 40,000 strong) but more importantly for the shadowy dealings that saw an incumbent House of Representatives speaker unseated on the very day that he was supposed to enjoy the rostrum with the President.

Congressman Pantaleon Alvarez has been ousted by majority vote of the Congress led by ex-President and now Pampanga Congresswoman Gloria Macapagal Arroyo – in an unprecedented and historic move that saw an emergency reconvening of the plenary after the joint session was adjourned. The crux is that the mace wasn’t in the rostrum when the proceedings were made but the Congressmen shrugged it off stating that the majority rules and that the mace was simply symbolic in nature.

The move was seen as a challenge to the otherwise bully-ball tactics of Alvarez who repeatedly has turned off several sectors with his remarks. Arroyo on the other hand, is making history as the first woman Speaker of the House in the Philippines.

While the power grab is still a power grab, many people were quite happy with the ouster of Alvarez, who has been seen as a huge influencer but a bigot by some sectors. Acceptance of Arroyo’s return to power is still a mixed bag, with Kapampangans rejoicing her return while others were taking a look-see approach to things. Either way, these events would merely be a footnote to the third State of the Nation Address of Duterte. It is still up to them to show a united front to keep legislation going on even after the leadership squabble is finished.

Below are links to reactions to 3rd State of the Nation Address highlighting other specific topics. Hope this helps.