By Junex Doronio
MANILA — “A house divided against itself, cannot stand,” a famous quote from the famous late US president Abraham Lincoln, ironically, dangles like the proverbial Sword of Damocles over this former American colony’s House of Representatives under Speaker Lord Allan Jay Velasco as two of his deputies have been locking horns over the issue of eviction of some families in Ozamiz City.
Since February, Velasco has not yet brokered peace between two feuding deputy speakers: Misamis Occidental 2nd District Representative Henry Oaminal and SAGIP party-list Congressman Rodante Marcoleta.
It was gathered that Marcoleta took up the cudgels for the families who were evicted from their homes for a local government housing complex of Oaminal’s son, Sancho, Ozamiz City mayor, amid the pandemic.
Marcoleta had brought the evicted families’ complaint to the House committee on good governance and public accountability chaired by DIWA party-list chairman Michael Aglipay who set the hearing on February 5.
The House committee then commenced its probe but on Feb. 3 Velasco’s office called Aglipay to move the hearing to March 18.
Aglipay claimed that Velasco gave Oaminal 3 weeks to “settle” with the families. Marcoleta suggested the condition of payment as compensation.
But Oaminal apparently failed to pay the evicted families.
“Walang nangyari. Walang nakitang settlement signed by both parties,” Aglipay said.
The next committee hearing is scheduled on Monday, March 22, as rumors also flew that Leyte Rep. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez will be ousted as majority leader following Velasco’s sacking of four Romualdez allies in a span of only one week.
From Tuesday, March 9, to Tuesday, March 16, the following lost their plum posts: Anakalusugan Rep. Mike Defensor as vice-chair of the committee on legislative franchises, Zamboanga Sibugay 1st District Representative Wilter “Sharky” Wee Palma II as deputy majority leader, Quezon City 1st District Rep. Anthony Peter “Onyx” Crisologo as assistant majority leader, and Pampanga 2nd District Rep. Juan Miguel “Mikey” Arroyo as vice-chair of the appropriations committee. (AI/MTVN)