House Senior Deputy Speaker Aurelio “Dong” Gonzales Jr., (left) former president Rodrigo Duterte (PPAB, Malacañang photo)
Senior Deputy Speaker Pampanga 3rd district Rep. Aurelio “Dong” Gonzales Jr. has named his party-mate, former president Rodrigo Duterte, as the one who has assailed the integrity of the House of Representatives.
But just before doing so, Gonzales resigned from his party, the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban). He was the erstwhile party treasurer.
This took place on the plenary floor Monday, Nov. 6 during a meeting of the Committee of the Whole, which involved all 227 House members present at that time.
In a cordial exchange with independent minority solon Albay 1st district Rep. Edcel Lagman, Gonzales admitted to “feeling bad” when a certain personality called the House as a “rotten” institution.
“I hate to say this, Mr. Chairman, but when I heard the word “rotten”, of course I felt bad,” the Senior Deputy Speaker said.
It was early October when Duterte–chairman of the PDP-Laban–went on television and called out Congress as the “most rotten institution” in the country. Despite this being widely reported in the media, Gonzales didn’t mention Duterte’s name.
“But may we know who uttered that statement? Was it a comic, or a leader, or previous leader of this country?” Lagman asked.
When Gonzales didn’t answer, the Bicolano said: “Why is the name of that accuser so sacrosanct that we cannot mention it before this body?”
Gonzales sought a minute-long suspension, before deciding to finally answer Lagman’s query.
“Before I will answer your question, Mr. President of the PDP party, are you here? Mr. President, [Palawan 2nd district] Congressman Alvarez–the one who uttered that word is our chairman from PDP-Laban,” he said.
“Before I will answer, I will resign now as member and officer of PDP-Laban: The former president, Rodrigo Roa Duterte, the one who said that, Mr. Chairman,” he added in s somber tone.
Afterward, Gonzales approached Alvarez and hugged him.
The purpose of the Committee of the WHO meeting was to discuss House Resolution (HR) No.1414, which sought to “[Uphold] the integrity and honor of the House of Representatives and [express] appreciation, solidarity, and support to the leadership of Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez”.
This was in connection with the attacks against the House as an institution in recent weeks.
Lagman agreed that the chamber’s integrity had to be defended, but claimed that HR No.1414 was “rather vague” and did not give the solons “proper background”.