The House of Representatives under newly installed Speaker Lord Allan Velasco relieved last night three deputy speakers closely allied with his predecessor, former speaker and Taguig-Pateros Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano.
The move, a highly reliable source said, is just “part one” of a House revamp that will relieve House officials identified with Cayetano.
Reps. Fredenil Castro (Lakas-CMD, Capiz); Dan Fernandez (NUP, Laguna) and Raneo Abu (NP, Batangas) were replaced as deputy speakers by Reps. Rufus Rodriguez (Independent, Cagayan de Oro City); Lito Atienza (BUHAY Partylist) and Camile Villar (NP, Las Pinas City), respectively.
The Lower House also elected former Batangas Rep. Mark Llandro L. Mendoza the new secretary general following the resignation of lawyer Jocella Bighani Sipin.
Sipin took over the secretary general post when Velasco was elected speaker last month.
The chamber unanimously adopted House Bill 1365 for her short but highly successful stint as secretary general. She was expected to remain in the Lower House as chief of staff of Velasco.
Mendoza has the full trust and confidence of the current House leadership under Velasco. He used to be head of the contingent of the Nationalist People’s Coalition in the chamber.
Also last night, the Lower House elected Reps. Juan Miguel Arroyo (Lakas-CMD, Pampanga) and Dale “Along” Malapitan (PDP-Laban, Caloocan City) as chairman of the House Committee on Energy and head of the House contingent to the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal, respectively.
Arroyo was senior vice chairman of the energy panel and a senior deputy majority leader prior to his election as chairman of the committee. He took over the post vacated by Velasco following his election as speaker.
On the other hand, Malapitan, son of Caloocan City Mayor Oscar Malapitan, will leave his former post as chairman of the Committee on Poverty Alleviation.
Malapitan replaced Party-list Rep. Ron Salo.
Salo was appointed by the Cayetano administration to replace now Deputy Speaker and Mindoro Oriental Rep. Doy Leachon as contingent head for HRET for being suspected of plotting a coup against the then speaker early this year.
Meanwhile, upon the request of the family of the late Cebu City Rep. Raul del Mar, Velasco was elected caretaker of the first congressional district of Cebu City vacated with the Del Mar’s demise.
ACT CIS Partylist Rep. Eric Go Yap, chairman of the House Committee on Appropriations, was also elected vice chairman of the House Committee on Accounts chaired by Davao City Rep. Paolo Duterte.