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Neophyte lawmaker declines election as a deputy speaker

A NEOPHYTE lawmaker has declined her election as a deputy speaker under the new House of Representatives leadership.

In a Nov. 18 letter to Speaker Lord Allan Q. Velasco, Las Piñas City. Rep Camille Linda A. Villar said she wanted to concentrate on economic relief measures amid a coronavirus pandemic and after past typhoons.

“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 fellowmen amid the past disasters and the pandemic,” she said.

Lawmakers voted Ms. Villar and two other new deputy speakers to replace congressmen closely allied with Alan Peter S. Cayetano, whom Mr. Velasco replaced last month after an ugly leadership squabble.

Ms. Villar is the daughter of business tycoon and former senator Manny B. Villar, Jr. She is also the leader of the 44-strong House Nacionalista Party, to which Mr. Cayetano belongs.

She was one of the three lawmakers who received deputy speakership posts in the latest revamp at the lower chamber after Mr. Velasco’s election.

“Rest assured that I am committed to your goals as a partner in development and will support your legislative agenda in the formation of a Congress of the people,” Ms. Villar said.

Congressmen ousted Mr. Cayetano as Speaker at a session held outside the House in keeping with a term-sharing deal brokered by President Rodrigo R. Duterte that both lawmakers agreed to last year.

Mr. Cayetano had refused to honor the gentleman’s agreement, saying Mr. Velasco did not have the support of his colleagues. — Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza

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