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SOURCE: Press and Public Affairs Bureau

18 November 2020 07:38:13 PM

The House of Representatives on Wednesday elected several new officials, including three deputy speakers.

The three are Cagayan de Oro City 2nd District Rep. Rufus Rodriguez, Buhay Party-list Rep. Jose “Lito” Atienza and Las Piñas Rep. Camille Villar.

The House also elected former Batangas Rep. Mark Llandro “Dong” Mendoza as its new Secretary-General, after Atty. Jocelia Bighani Sipin tendered her resignation earlier in the day.

Sipin will assume a new position as Deputy Secretary General to work closely with Speaker Lord Allan Velasco and oversee the affairs of his office.

The legislative chamber also elected Pampanga 2nd District Rep. Juan Miguel “Mikey” Arroyo as chairman of the Committee on Energy; Caloocan City 1st District Rep. Dale “Along” Malapitan as head of the House contingent to the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal; and ACT-CIS Rep. Eric Go Yap as vice-chair of the Committee on Accounts.

It also appointed Speaker Velasco as caretaker of Cebu City’s 1st District in light of the death of Rep. Raul Del Mar.

Velasco’s designation as caretaker was “upon the wishes of the late Rep. Del Mar, as communicated by his family and constituency.”

Rodriguez, known as one of House’s own legal luminaries, was elected to replace Capiz 2nd District Rep. Fredenil Castro.

He has been a congressman from 2007 to 2016 and from 2019 to present. A law graduate from the University of the Philippines, Rodriguez served as vice-governor of Misamis Oriental from 1984 to 1986. In 1990, he became the dean of the College of Law of San Sebastian College.

Rodriguez was commissioner of the Bureau of Immigration during the term of former President Joseph Estrada.

At the same time, the House elected Atienza as deputy speaker replacing Laguna 1st District Rep. Dan Fernandez.

Atienza has been representing 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.

Meanwhile, Villar was elected deputy speaker, replacing Batangas 2nd District Rep. Raneo “Ranie” Abu.

At 35, Villar is one of the youngest deputy speakers ever elected by the House.

Villar is the only daughter of real estate tycoon Manuel “Manny” Villar Jr. and incumbent Senator Cynthia Villar.

The Villar patriarch was a former Senate President and House Speaker. He is also the president of the Nacionalista Party, the oldest political party in the country. #