MANILA–Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez stood pat on his policy to replace members holding key posts in the House of Representatives if they vote against the contentious measure restoring the death penalty.
In an ambush interview on Monday, Alvarez also said that deputy speakers, committee chairpersons, and vice-chairpersons who choose to abstain from voting or be absent during the third reading vote will also be stripped of their leadership titles.
“Kasama yung mga mag-aabstain. Hindi tatanggalin, papalitan. (Those who will abstain are included. They won’t be removed, they will be replaced.)” Alvarez said, adding that House leaders who fail to show up at the session will also be replaced.
Earlier, Alvarez warned House leaders that they will be plucked out of their posts if they block the passage of the death penalty bill, which is one of the priority measures of the Duterte administration.
The lower chamber is targeting to approve on third and final reading House Bill No. 4727 on Tuesday.
In a separate interview, Alvarez expressed confidence on the passage of the death penalty in the House. He, however, refused to give his speculation on the chances of the approval of the measure in the Senate.
Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III predicted a “close fight” would ensue in the Senate on the death penalty bill.