ASEANEWS HEADLINE: MANILA – Arroyo firms up control of House Andaya replaces Fariñas as majority chief; LP new minority

Camarines Sur Rep. Rolando Andaya became the new majority leader Monday as the shakeup in the House of Representatives continued following the election last week of Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.Andaya replaces Ilocos Norte Rep. Rodolfo Fariñas, who had earlier challenged the legitimacy of Arroyo’s election.The Liberal Party, meanwhile, emerged as the new minority group, in coalition with the leftist Makabayan bloc and a group of opposition lawmakers led by Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman.In a letter, Marikina City Rep. Miro Quimbo of the Liberal Party informed Arroyo that 10 lawmakers have been added to what he called the duly constituted minority of the House.The merger of these groups gave the LP more leverage in its bid to replace the minority bloc led by Quezon Rep. Danilo Suarez, who voted for Arroyo.The Makabayan bloc said it decided to join forces with other members of the opposition in the House to actively campaign against what they described as the “anti-people” policies of the Duterte administration.Andaya had served as Budget secretary during the Arroyo administration. As majority leader, Andaya is also chairman of the House committee on rules.

SAGIP party-list Rep. Rodante Marcoleta was appointed vice chairman, replacing Pampanga Rep. Juan Pablo Bondoc.Leyte Rep. Yedda Marie Romualdez, the wife of Philippine Constitution Commission president and former congressman Martin Romualdez, was appointed as the new head of the House committee on accounts, replacing Batangas Rep. Elenita Ermita-Buhain.The House, in plenary session Monday, also appointed Dante Roberto Maling as the acting secretary general, replacing Alvarez-appointee Cesar Pareja.Army Gen. Romeo Prestoza, who headed the Presidential Security Group and the Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces, replaced retired Lt. Gen. Roland Detabali as sergeant-at-arms. Prestoza is a member of Philippine Military Academy Class of 1978, of which Speaker Arroyo is an honorary member.The 10 lawmakers who joined the LP-led opposition bloc were Representatives Gary Alejano of Magdalo party-list, Tom Villarin of Akbayan party-list, both members of the opposition bloc led by Lagman; Josephine Ramirez-Sato of Occidental Mindoro, and members of the Makabayan bloc—party-list Representatives Antonio Tinio and France Castro of-of ACT Teachers; Carlos Zarate of Bayan Muna; Ariel Casilao of Anakpawis; Emmi De Jesus and Arlene Brosas of Gabriela; and Sarah Elago of Kabataan./  Maricel Cruz


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