- Ex-President and Pampanga Representative Gloria Arroyo, after four years of detention, makes her comeback at the opening of the 17th Congress
- Lawmakers are gathering on Monday, July 25, to formally open the 17th Congress and elect the Speaker of the House
- With many lawmakers jumping ship to PDP-Laban, Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez is expected to be the new Speaker of the House
After spending four years in detention, former President and current Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has finally made an appearance in the House of Congress on Monday morning, July 25.
Just 15 minutes before 9 a.m., Rep. Gloria Arroyo arrived to join other lawmakers at a breakfast organized by Davao del Norte Representative and incoming Speaker of the House Pantaleon Alvarez.
Upon her arrival at the Nograles Hall, Rep. Gloria Arroyo has been seen wearing a neck brace.
The former president was released from hospital detention at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center on July 21 after the Supreme Court ruled to grant Rep. Arroyo's petition to trash the plunder cases against her.
The highest tribunal of the land, the Supreme Court, in an 11-4 vote, decided that the allegations towards the former president's misuse of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office's P366-million intelligence fund lacked substantial evidence.
Today, Rep. Gloria Arroyo, together with several lawmakers, convened at the plenary hall for the opening of the 17th Congress where they were set to elect the new Speaker of the House.
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After the defection of many lawmakers to PDP-Laban and the formation of the supermajority coalition, Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez is set to have the speakership in the bag.
The race for Minority Leader will be determined by the second highest number of votes for the Speakership.
Outgoing Speaker and Liberal Party Vice Chairman Feliciano Belmonte Jr. who has initially set his eyes on the minority leader post withdrew from the race in compliance with former President Benigno Aquino III's request for the Liberal Party to join the majority coalition led by Duterte's PDP-Laban.
Navotas Rep. Toby Tiangco, who initially wanted to join the race for the minority leadership, has also recently announced his intention to withdraw from the race. - Kami Media