House replaces Arroyo as deputy speaker

MANILA-- The House of Representatives on Wednesday elected the replacement of former President-turned Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo as deputy speaker.

At the plenary session, House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez officiated the oath taking of Bulacan Rep. Linabelle Ruth Villarica as deputy speaker, replacing Mrs. Arroyo who was earlier elected as a member of several committees.

Villarica was replaced by Isabela Rep. Ana Cristina Siquian Go as chairperson of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.

The new Deputy Speaker was elected vice chairperson of the panel she used to lead before.

Also replaced was Batangas Rep. Vilma Santos-Recto, the chairperson of the House Committee on Civil Service and Professional Regulation.

She was replaced by Batangas Rep. Mario Vittorio MariAo as chair of the panel.

Arroyo and Santos-Recto were among the House leaders who were removed from key positions last March for not backing the passage of House Bill (HB) No. 4727 or the reimposition of the death penalty which was approved on third and final reading.

Aside from Mrs. Arroyo and Santos-Recto, other lawmakers who were stripped of their Committee chairmanship last March include Sorsogon Rep. Evelina Escudero (House Committee on Basic Education); Dinagat Islands Rep. Kaka Bag-Ao (House Committee on People's Participation); Gabriela Partylist Rep. Emmi de Jesus (Poverty Alleviation); ACT Partylist Rep. Antonio Tinio (House Committee on Public Information); Buhay Partylist Rep. Mariano Michael Velarde (House Committee on Overseas Workers Affairs); Bayan Muna Partylist Rep. Carlos Zarate (House Committee on Natural Resources); Batanes Rep. Henedina Abad (, who chairs the House Committee on Government Reorganization); DIWA Partylist Rep. Emmeline Aglipay-Villar (House Committee on Women and Gender Equality; and Quezon City Rep. Christopher Belmonte (House Special Committee on Land Use).

Source: Philippine News Agency