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Rolando Andaya is new House majority leader

Mara Cepeda
Rolando Andaya is new House majority leader
(UPDATED) Lawmakers also accept the nomination of Roberto Maling as acting secretary-general and Romeo Prestoza as sergeant-at-arms

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Camarines Sur 1st District Representative Rolando Andaya is the new majority leader of the House of Representatives.

Capiz 2nd District Representative Fredenil Castro moved to have Andaya replace Ilocos Norte 1st District Representative Rodolfo Fariñas as majority leader during the session on Monday, July 30.

“I move to elect Congressman Rolando Andaya vice Congressman Rodolfo Fariñas as chairman of the committee on rules,” said Castro.

The House rules committee is chaired by the majority leader, who is tasked to direct the deliberations on the floor and be the spokesperson of the majority bloc. A majority leader is also expected to whip the votes in favor of the majority.

Andaya himself was leading the session, as he was deputy speaker during the term of the recently ousted speaker, Davao del Norte 1st District Representative Pantaleon Alvarez. (READ: The women behind the fall of Alvarez)

No lawmaker questioned Castro’s motion, so Andaya accepted his nomination as majority leader.

Fariñas then argued that Andaya should not be presiding over the session as he would have to take his oath for his new post. Andaya agreed and temporarily suspended the session, while the secretariat prepared for his oath taking.

Andaya was the budget secretary when Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo was president. (READ: Gloria Arroyo’s firsts as House speaker)

Maling, Prestoza

Aside from Andaya, the lawmakers accepted the nomination of Roberto Maling as acting secretary-general to replace lawyer Cesar Pareja.

Arroyo’s former Presidential Security Group commander Romeo Prestoza is the new sergeant-at-arms, replacing Roland Detabali. Arroyo previously named Prestoza as chief of the elite Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines in 2008.

Arroyo herself administered the oaths of Andaya, Maling, and Prestoza on Monday.

Earlier in the afternoon, AKO Bicol Representative Rodel Batocabe and Quezon City 2nd District Representative Winston Castelo told reporters that Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos had lobbied to prevent Fariñas from being retained as majority leader. – Rappler.com

Mara Cepeda

Mara Cepeda specializes in stories about politics and local governance. She covers the Office of the Vice President, the Senate, and the Philippine opposition. She is a 2021 fellow of the Asia Journalism Fellowship and the Reham al-Farra Memorial Journalism Fellowship of the UN. Got tips? Email her at mara.cepeda@rappler.com or tweet @maracepeda.