By Romer R. Butuyan
MANILA — The House of Representatives underwent another round of “reorganization” on Monday night as the new leadership designated nine (9) new deputy speakers and appointed several new committee heads.
Based on the Notes on Plenary Proceedings provided by the House Media Affairs and Public Relations Service to Maharlika TV News, among those appointed as deputy speakers include Reps. Arnolfo Teves, Jr., Juan Pablo “Rimpy” Bondoc, Wes Gatchalian, Bernadette Herrera-Dy, Kristine Singson-Meehan, Divina Grace Yu, Rogelio Pacquiao, Bienvenido Abante Jr. and Eric Martines.
Sulu 2nd Dist. Rep. Munir Arbison was appointed to the House Contingent to the Commission on Appointments, replacing Rep. Benjamin Agarao Jr. (Laguna 4th Dist), while Navotas City Rep. John Reynald Tiangco got the chairmanship of the Committee on Trade and Industry from Gatchalian.
Under this new setup, La Union 2nd Dist. Rep. Sandra Eriguel will now be the chairperson of Committee on Inter-Parliamentary Relations and Diplomacy, replacing Yu, while Quezon City 5th Dist. Rep. Alfred Vargas took over the chairmanship of Committee on Social Services from Eriguel.
Surigao del Sur 2nd Dist. Rep. Johnny Ty Pimentel and Pampanga 3rd Dist. Rep. Aurelio “Dong” Gonzales Jr. became casualties of the reorganization after they were stripped of their position as deputy speakers.
Fortunately for the two, they were given committee chairmanship, as Pimentel will now head the Special Committee on Strategic Intelligence, replacing Capiz 2nd Dist. Rep. Fredenil Castro, and Gonzales taking the helm of the Committee on Bases Conversion, vice Cavite 1st Dist Rep. Francis Gerald Abaya.
It was not clear if Agarao, Castro and Abaya will be given new posts.
Meanwhile, Pangasinan 6th Dist. Rep Tyrone Agabas was designated Deputy Majority Leader, filling the post left Hererra-Dy and Anak Mindanao (AMIN) Party-List Rep. Amihilda Sangcopan became the newest Assistant Majority Leader, replacing Singson-Meehan.
Last November 19 or a month after his assumption as Speaker, Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco appointed Cagayan de Oro City Rep. Rufus Rodriguez, BUHAY Party-List Rep. Lito Atienza, and Las Piñas City Rep. Camille Villar as deputy speakers.
They replaced Castro, Laguna 1st Dist. Rep. Dan Fernandez and Batangas 2nd Dist. Rep. Raneo Abu, who are known allies of former Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano. (AI/FC/MTVN)