By Ben Rosario
Children of former key officials of the House of Representatives were elected to key posts on the second day of the chamber’s reorganization.
The 11 newly-elected deputy speakers took their oath of office before Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano as the chamber rushed to start working on the over 1,200 bills already filed since the start of the 18th session on July 1.
Legislative proposals contained in 204 pages of the order of business were read on first reading and referred to their respective committees.
With Surigao del Sur Rep. Prospero Pichay presiding, the chamber referred the bills while waiting for the completion of the House committees.
Elected as assistant majority leaders were Reps. Camille Villar (NP, Las Pinas); Ria Farinas (NP, Ilocos Norte) and David Suarez (NP, Quezon). Villar is the daughter of former Senate President Manuel Villar and Sen. Cynthia Villar; Farinas, daughter of former majority leader Rodolfo Farinas while Suarez, a former governor, is the son of former minority leader and incumbent Quezon Gov. Danilo Suarez and Rep. Aleta Suarez.
Elected deputy speakers were Reps. Juan Miguel Arroyo (Lakas-CMD, Pampanga) and Christopher De Venecia (PDP-Laban, Pangasinan). Arroyo is the son of former president and speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo while De Venecia ‘s parents are former Speaker Jose De Venecia and Rep. Gina De Venecia.
Joining them as deputy speakers are Reps. Lianda Bolilia (PDP-Laban, Batangas); Amanda Chritina Bagatsing (Manila) and Juan Pablo Bondoc (PDP-Laban, Pampanga) .
The minority bloc elected Rep. Bienvenido Abante (Abante Manila, Manila) as minority leader. He named Reps. Janette Garin (NP, Iloilo) and Christopher Belmonte (LP, Quezon City) deputy minority leaders.
The new Deputy Speakers are Representatives Paolo Zimmerman Duterte, Ferdinand Ledesma Hernandez, Evelina Escudero, Loren Legarda, Conrad Estrella III, Prospero Pichay, Roberto Puno, Eddie Villanueva, Aurelio Gonzales Jr., Johnny Pimentel and Luis Rey Villafuerte.
Each of the deputy speakers will be assigned groups of committees to supervise.
The house rules describe the deputy speakers as the second-highest-ranking officials of the chamber.
Sources said at least 13 more deputy speakers will be elected by the chamber.