It wasn’t a surprise appearance from President Rodrigo Duterte that stole the show from Vice President Leni Robredo on Monday.
It was a veteran lawmaker demanding recognition from House leaders.
Since Duterte skipped the proclamation rites, Robredo had the moment to herself until Northern Samar Rep. Harlin Abayon asked Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. to recognize him as the duly elected Northern Samar representative.
“May I ask the Speaker who is the duly recognized Representative of Northern Samar? The other day, I was in my office, and I did not hear my name in the roll call,” Abayon said.
The Supreme Court ruled in favor of Abayon who appealed the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal (HRET) decision unseating him and declaring the Liberal Party’s Raul Daza as the duly elected Northern Samar Representative.
House Majority Leader Neptali Gonzales 2nd dismissed Abayon, saying the proclamation proceedings are not the proper time to settle the issue.
But Abayon refused to back down, repeatedly insisting that he should be recognized as the rightful Northern Samar Representative.
Gonzales then asked the House of Representatives’ Sergeant at Arms to escort Abayon out of the plenary hall. The lawmaker eventually calmed down and the proclamation rites proceeded as scheduled.