CAMARINES SUR Rep. Rolando G. Andaya, Jr., assumed the post of Majority Leader of the House of Representatives (HoR) on Monday.
Capiz Rep. Fredenil H. Castro moved to elect Mr. Andaya, in place of Ilocos Norte Rep. Rodolfo C. Fariñas, and faced no objection.
Mr. Andaya then took his oath before the members of the HoR, officiated by Speaker Gloria M. Arroyo.
Following the election, Party-list Akbayan Rep. Tomasito S. Villarin raised that it be clarified who now constitutes the majority and minority blocs.
“Who now constitutes the majority, is it the 184 who voted for the Speaker or is there now a new majority beyond the 184?” Mr. Villarin said.
Mr. Villarin was referring to the 184 affirmative votes that Ms. Arroyo received during her election last July 23.
Based on House Rules, members who voted for the winning candidate for Speaker shall be the members of the majority.
The HoR, however, as of this writing, has yet to settle discussion on whether a new majority should be recognized.
During the proceedings, Mr. Castro, the presiding chair, acknowledged Rep. Danilo E. Suarez as Minority Leader, which was strongly opposed by Marikina Rep. Romero S. Quimbo.
“As far as the minority is concerned based on the voting last Monday, we are organized and we are ready to work,” said Mr. Quimbo, who was among those who abstained during the vote for a new Speaker.
He also pointed out that Mr. Suarez not only signed the manifesto in support of Ms. Arroyo, but also campaigned for her election.
Party-list Ako Bicol Rep. Alfredo A. Garbin, Jr., for his part, maintained the 17-member minority bloc will keep its position, arguing that House Rules “did not change and it will never change the membership status of each and every member regardless of whether you voted for the winning Speaker or did not participate in the election.” — Charmaine A. Tadalan