The Inday-Lakas Speakership Issue: A Closer Look


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In light of recent events, some people approached me seeking my perspective on the complex matter of the Sara-GMA-Martin-Lakas-Speakership issue. Rather than addressing each person individually, I have decided to share my thoughts on this matter through an editorial and opinon post, allowing me to respond to everyone collectively. I must forewarn you that this will be an extensive read since issues like these are rarely straightforward. If you’re looking for a concise read, I suggest you divert your attention to a bumper sticker instead. Without further ado, let’s delve into the intricacies of this situation.


Around 48 hours ago, a significant development unfolded within the House Leadership as they made the decision to demote former President and current Pampanga congresswoman Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (PGMA) from her position as Senior Deputy Speaker (SDS) to Deputy Speaker (DS), citing the weighty responsibilities associated with the role. Responding to the demotion, PGMA offered a succinct official statement, asserting that it was within the House’s prerogative to make such decisions. This prompted widespread speculation among politicians and avid followers of political affairs, while the higher authorities maintained a notable silence for the remainder of the day.

Subsequently, on the following day, PGMA released a more detailed second statement, highlighting key aspects of the matter.

  • Although PGMA extended her congratulations to her replacement, her tone in the announcement implied that she was taken aback by the decision.
  • In an effort to prevent the issue from escalating, PGMA expressed her desire for resolution and subsequently affirmed the mandate of Uniteam and its platform centered around unity.
  • While acknowledging her previous aspiration to become House Speaker in 2022, PGMA asserted that she no longer harbors that desire.
  • PGMA highlighted that the Marcos Administration was more inclined towards having Rep. Martin Romualdez (SMR) as the Speaker, emphasizing that historically, the President has held significant influence over the speakership, viewing it as a position of trust, while perceiving the Senate’s role as the check-and-balance mechanism.
  • Denying the reports suggesting her involvement in a plot to remove the current Speaker, PGMA asserted that her actions had been “misconstrued” and misunderstood.
  • In terms of her priorities, PGMA emphasized that her foremost focus lies on serving Pampanga as its representative, followed by supporting the legislative agenda of PBBM, providing advice based on her experience as a former president, and actively working towards reducing tensions between the United States and China.

After a lapse of nine hours, Vice President Sara Duterte released a statement, highlighting the following key points:

  • In an irrevocable decision, Vice President Sara Duterte announced her resignation from Lakas, the political party where she currently holds the position of chairperson.
  • Expressing gratitude, Vice President Sara Duterte extended her thanks to the members of Lakas for demonstrating, in previous instances, that unity is indeed achievable.
  • Vice President Sara Duterte emphasized the significance of serving the nation in a meaningful manner, with PBBM leading the way, and reiterated her unwavering commitment to this cause, emphasizing its immutability.
  • In her statement, Vice President Sara Duterte strongly criticized the presence of “political toxicity” and denounced the deplorable nature of political powerplays that harm the democratic process.
  • Reiterating the significance of political stability, Vice President Sara Duterte emphasized the necessity of fostering a stable political environment for the benefit of the country.
VP Sara resignation from Lakas

Following the sequence of events, President Bongbong Marcos refrained from making any comments regarding the speakership issue, indicating that he would withhold his remarks for the time being.


The demotion of PGMA from her position suggests that the House Leadership views the coup reports as highly credible, while also indicating that PGMA herself was unaware of the plan to demote her. 

In her brief statement, she displayed defiance and employed strategic ambiguity. It can be interpreted as her complete acceptance of the situation, or it can be seen as an implicit accusation of the House Leadership ganging up against her. The interpretation of this statement largely depends on an individual’s perspective and which side of the fence they stand on.

Given the nature of human reactions, I find PGMA’s response to be unsurprising, regardless of the varying interpretations.

The seemingly unilateral action taken by SMR, coupled with PGMA’s concise response, had the potential to result in a backlash against SMR. From a political optics perspective, if PGMA effectively presents herself as an underdog while portraying SMR as the aggressor, it could prove detrimental to SMR’s image. However, executing such optics would be hard considering PGMA’s historical portrayal as a strong and capable woman.

Following the delivery of that one-liner, the Philippines experienced a figurative slumber, as the statement was made during the early hours of the morning in Manila.

The following day, to my surprise, PGMA released a longer and more intricate statement. While I value her apparent sincerity, I believe the statement may have been a misstep for two reasons:

  1. Instead of issuing the feisty one-liner, PGMA could have opted to make the longer statement her primary communication.
  2. It could be argued that PGMA would have been better off by not issuing the second statement at all.

What led to the decision of issuing the second statement remains unclear, suggesting that there might have been subsequent developments that compelled PGMA to provide further clarification. While the longer statement was carefully worded, it contained an excessive number of disclaimers, which inadvertently made PGMA appear defensive. Nonetheless, there was an evident effort to alleviate the issue, and that is commendable.

However, the lengthier statement runs the risk of unintentionally offending members of the Lower House. The line stating that “the House leadership has traditionally been closely associated with the sitting President,” although factually accurate, could have been better left unsaid. This insinuates that the House lacks independence, a notion that implicates not only the House as a whole but also PGMA herself, as she is a member of the House and has previously led it.

By this juncture, it became evident that SMR retained his position as Speaker, leading me to believe that the speaker-coup controversy had come to an end. I anticipated the contest to be far more contentious, considering that the preceding three battles for the speakership were exceptionally acrimonious experiences akin to dealing with an ingrown nail.

  • The 2018 showdown between Alvarez and GMA was marked by the memorable microphone incident involving Dao Ming Su, adding to the intense rivalry during the speakership battle.
  • In 2019, the speakership conflict among Cayetano, Velasco, and Romualdez took a dramatic turn with Cayetano resorting to threats against Inday Sara, further escalating tensions within the political arena.
  • The 2020 clash between Cayetano and Velasco unfolded with the dramatic scene of the padlocked Batasan Pambansa, underscoring the contentious nature of the speakership struggle during that time.

Consequently, I felt a sense of relief that the 2023 edition of the Speakership Saga appeared to involve fewer dramatic outbursts and theatrics. 

However, my relief was short-lived as Vice President Inday’s statement entered the picture, introducing a new twist to the unfolding narrative.

VP Inday’s irrevocable decision to depart from her party leaves room for various interpretations, including but not limited to:

(a) It may indicate her belief in the credibility of the coup reports.

(b) It could suggest her reluctance to remain in a Lakas party without GMA’s presence.

(c) It might signify her aversion to engaging in political maneuvering.

The specific combination or singular motivation behind her decision can only be determined by VP Inday herself and those closest to her, as individual motivations can be complex and multifaceted.

In her statement, VP Inday explicitly expresses her unwavering support for President Ferdinand Marcos Jr (PBBM) by emphasizing her commitment to serving the Filipino people under his leadership, affirming its immutability. This remark strongly implies a connection between her loyalty to PBBM and the preference for SMR as Speaker, considering PBBM’s inclination.

Nevertheless, it is evident that VP Inday strongly disapproves of engaging in political maneuvering, as demonstrated by her irrevocable resignation as the erstwhile chairman of Lakas. This decision holds particular significance since both SMR and PGMA hold prominent positions within the Lakas party, further highlighting her aversion to politicking within the party’s framework.

The phrase “execrable political powerplay” caught my attention for two reasons. Firstly, as the current Speaker, SMR holds the position of status quo and may not need to engage in power play as much as those aspiring to replace him. Secondly, while PGMA denies it, she herself acknowledges the rumors surrounding her interest in the speakership. Based on this information, logical reasoning would suggest that PGMA might be the one involved in the perceived “execrable” maneuvers.

Given the available information, it appears that PGMA would be more likely to disrupt the political landscape if indeed someone had stirred the waters. However, I believe that SMR should also heed VP Inday’s plea. It is my hope that he can rally the House to prioritize achieving tangible progress and focusing on initiatives that genuinely benefit the nation as a whole.

PGMA’s political influence may have suffered a significant blow throughout this ordeal. Regardless of the authenticity of the coup reports, it is evident that, in the grand scheme of things, the former President has been the most adversely affected by this controversy.

I reiterate my belief that it is within PGMA’s right to pursue the speakership, just as it is within SMR’s right to desire to maintain his position. The resulting contest unfolded, and SMR emerged as the survivor.

Ultimately, this is the nature of politics, and these individuals are politicians. It is what it is, and they act in accordance with their nature and objectives.


VP Inday’s emphasis on political stability in her statement clearly signifies her strong belief in the necessity of unity under the leadership of the President. Furthermore, her message appears to extend beyond the immediate participants in the speakership issue and resonates with the broader public.

By highlighting the importance of unity with the President at the helm, VP Inday’s statement suggests that her message is directed not only at those directly involved in the controversy but also at all citizens, urging them to recognize the significance of cohesive governance for the benefit of the entire nation.

In her statement, VP Inday conveyed her unwavering dedication to serving the Filipino people and the Philippines, with President Ferdinand Marcos Jr leading the nation. She emphasized the utmost importance of this commitment, assuring that her word and dedication are steadfast and unchanging.

“Nothing is more important to me than being able to meaningfully serve our fellow Filipinos and the Philippines — with President Ferdinand Marcos Jr leading the way. Trust that my word, my commitment will be immutable.”

We must acknowledge that despite our concerns about the direction of our country, VP Inday’s message is clear: dismantling this administration won’t benefit our nation. Therefore, it is crucial for us to stop repeating the same mistakes and instead concentrate on discovering ways to collaborate, even amidst our disagreements. Whether I am entirely mistaken, entirely correct, or somewhere in between, that is my perspective.

In summary, it is important to recognize that undermining the current administration will not be advantageous for our country, as emphasized by VP Inday’s message. Instead of continuously reinventing the wheel, we should unite and focus on finding ways to work together, despite our differences. My viewpoint may be entirely wrong, entirely right, or somewhere in between, but that’s how I perceive the situation.

Vic Gonzales III
Vic Gonzales III
Vicente F. Gonzales III is a professional SEO specialist and a digital marketer. He also happens to be an accomplished content writer, website designer and digital strategist. Vicente's clients love him for his unwavering dedication to their success, as well as his witty, intelligent demeanor. When he's not helping businesses achieve their online marketing goals, Vicente can be found reading up on the latest SEO trends or spending time with his wife and two sons.



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