Nine new House deputy speakers sworn in
Delon Porcalla (The Philippine Star) – December 8, 2020 – 12:00am
MANILA, Philippines — Nine more allies of Speaker Lord Allan Velasco were nominated and sworn in as latest additions to the list of 22 deputy speakers in the House of Representatives, replacing two PDP-Laban stalwarts.
Now among the deputy speakers is Negros Oriental Rep. Arnie Teves, who blew the whistle on the unequal distribution of district allocations for the 2021 national budget when Alan Peter Cayetano was speaker.
Teves, who was accompanied by his family, took his oath before House Deputy Speaker Mikee Romero (1Pacman party-list), who heads the 54-member Party-list Coalition Foundation in the chamber.
Teves’ fellow deputy speakers are Reps. Bienvenido Abante of Manila, Wes Gatchalian and Eric Martinez of Valenzuela, Rimpy Bondoc of Pampanga, Bernadette Herrera of Bagong Henerasyon, Grace Yu of Zamboanga del Sur, Bobby Pacquiao of Saranggani and Kristine Singson-Meehan of Ilocos Sur.
Two deputy speakers – Reps. Johnny Pimentel (Surigao del Sur) and Aurelio Gonzales Jr. (Pampanga) – who signed the petition to keep Cayetano as speaker and in effect renege on the term-sharing agreement that President Duterte brokered, were removed.
Velasco replaced Gonzales as executive vice president of the dominant PDP-Laban party, which is now headed by boxing champion Sen. Manny Pacquiao.
Gonzales was nominated, nonetheless, as the new chairman of the House committee on bases conversion authority.
The replacement of former speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, who bolted the ruling party whose titular head is President Duterte, was not known as of yesterday.
Sulu Rep. Munir Arbison was designated as member of the bicameral body Commission on Appointments, where the House has a contingent composed of 12 congressmen. He replaces Rep. Benjie Agarao of Laguna.
Navotas Rep. Jeffrey Tiangco will be taking the place of Gatchalian as chairman of the House committee on trade and industry.
Another key Cayetano ally, Bulacan Rep. Jonathan Sy-Alvarado, was previously replaced as chairman of the House committee on good government by Rep. Michael Aglipay of party-list Diwa.
Among the new Velasco-allied deputy speakers are Reps. Lito Atienza of party-list Buhay and Rufus Rodriguez of Cagayan de Oro City, replacing Cayetano allies Fred Castro of Capiz and Dan Fernandez of Laguna.
Rodriguez currently sits as chairman of the House committee on constitutional reforms.
Rep. Ron Salo of party-list Kabayan – who also took the side of Cayetano – was removed as chairman of the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal, which will now be taken over by Caloocan Rep. Dale Malapitan.