THREE more lawmakers were elected as Deputy Speakers while former Batangas Rep. Mark Llandro “Dong” Mendoza was named House Secretary General.
The new Deputy Speakers are Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez, Buhay Rep. Lito Atienza and Las Pinas Rep. Camille Villar.
They replaced ousted Deputy Speakers Dan Fernandez (Laguna); Fredenil Castro (Capiz) and Raneo Abu (Batangas).
However, Villar declined the nomination but assured the leadership of Speaker Lord Allan Velasco of full support.
Rodriguez, known as one of the House’s legal luminaries, has been a congressman from 2007 to 2016 and 2019 to present. He is a former Commissioner of the Bureau of Immigration. He is currently the chairman of the House committee on Constitutional amendments.
Atienza has represented the Buhay Party-list in Congress since 2014. He previously served as secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources from 2007 to 2009 during the Arroyo administration. He also served three consecutive terms as mayor of Manila from 1998 to 2007.
If she had accepted her nomination, Villar would have been the youngest Deputy Speaker in the history of the House of Representatives.
Thanks, but no thanks
In her letter to Speaker Velasco, Villar said she would continue to be of help to her colleagues as well as the leaders of the House in providing better lives for the Filipinos.
“I would like to express my sincere appreciation for the honor and opportunity offered me. Allow me, however, to humbly decline the nomination and designation as Deputy Speaker,” Villar said.
“It is an opportune time to work with my fellow congressmen and the leaders of the House of Representatives on policy measures that would give personal and economic relief to our kababayans amid the past disasters and the pandemic. But the greater tact is adherent responsibility to our constituents, and the constant affinity to the leadership and nation,” she added.
She assured the House leadership of partnership in achieving the goals and legislative agenda of the Congress of the People.