South Leyte solon votes for Rep. Nograles
By Bong Pedalino
Maasin City (5 February) -- Southern Leyte lone district Representative Roger Mercado cast his vote for incoming House Speaker Prospero Nograles in the nominal voting last night to determine whether Speaker Jose De Venecia continues to hold on his post or give way to a new leadership.
"Mr. Speaker, I vote yes," Cong. Mercado declared when his turn was called to vote on the motion earlier raised by Cong. Mitra declaring the Speaker's seat vacant.
The proceedings were aired on nationwide television, and monitored here live at the local cable channel 16, the ABS-CBN News Channel (ANC).
Mercado's vote was listed as the 107th "yes" as against 25 "no" and 6 "abstain", at 10:45 PM, February 4. He did not elaborate or qualify his choice.
Until he stood at the Congress floor to cast his lot, Mercado's vote was kept secret, he being a close ally of De Venecia but a member of KAMPI, the political party of the President.
When it was over, 174 Congressmen voted for Nograles, 35 for De Venecia, and 16 abstained.
The shakeup in the speakership post was reportedly spearheaded by the President's two sons in Congress, Rep. Mikey Arroyo of Pampanga, and Rep. Datu Arroyo, a neophyte legislator from Camarines Sur, as a revenge against the actuations of Speaker De Venecia's son.
But this was vehemently denied by the new lawmaker, Datu, who stressed in his speech that what is needed in the Lower House is true reform, and not the lip-service moral revolution advocated by the erstwhile Speaker. (PIA-Southern Leyte) [top]