House leadership change delays 3rd SONA

By Azer Parrocha

The third State of the Nation Address (SONA) of President Rodrigo R. Duterte on Monday has been delayed for almost an hour after the House of Representatives (HOR) went through a change in House leadership.

Duterte’s SONA was supposed to start at 4 p.m.

Malacañang earlier said that the President’s SONA is expected to last from 35 to 45 minutes.

Just minutes before Duterte was supposed to deliver his third SONA, former president and Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo took her oath as new Speaker of the House of Representatives.

Arroyo is the first female to assume the speakership post.

She replaced Davao del Norte Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez after a manifesto of support to endorse her as House Speaker circulated Monday morning.

The former president took over the rostrum, minutes before Alvarez was seen welcoming Duterte at the House.

Duterte’s allies said the ouster move against Alvarez has the support of the President’s daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, who earlier had a spat with Alvarez.

The Alvarez and Duterte-Carpio conflict started last February when he called the Davao City mayor as part of the opposition after she formed the regional political party, Hugpong ng Pagbabago. (PNA)