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Feb 05,2008
Philippines Parliament speaker ousted
by UPI

MANILA, Philippines - Jose de Venecia, who had accused Philippines President Gloria Arroyo of corruption and murder, was ousted as speaker of the House Monday night, it was reported.

The vote was 174 to remove de Venecia, 35 for him to stay and 16 abstentions, The Philippine Star reported. At least 121 votes were needed to remove him.

De Venecia, who had served 12 years as speaker -- the longest run in the nation's history -- was replaced by Rep. Prospero Nograles of Davao City.

In an hour-long speech, de Venecia not only had accused Arroyo -- his former ally -- of fomenting attempts to have him removed but also of high-level corruption and political killings, the Star reported.

De Venecia alleged that three generals had plotted to kill him and his son for speaking out about the government's controversial broad band network project and that Arroyo did nothing to bring the military officers to account.

Interior and Local Government Secretary Ronaldo Puno said de Venecia's allegation were "emotional outburst" and "grandstanding," the Star reported.

© 2008 United Press International. All Rights Reserved.

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