After just 13 days, 1-Pacman party-list Rep. Mikee Romero is back as deputy speaker.
Romero regained his lofty post this afternoon, a day after the 301-member House of Representatives upheld the election of Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco as Speaker.
Romero, president of the Party-List Coalition Foundation Inc. (PCFI), supported Velasco in his tiff with Taguig-Pateros Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano for the Speakership.
Known to many as the country’s richest congressman with a net worth of P6.5 billion, Romero was one of Cayetano’s handpicked deputy speakers at the start of the 18th Congress last year.
He was removed from his post during plenary session last Oct. 1 after reportedly being too open in his backing of Velasco’s bid for the top seat in the House.
Deputy Majority Leader Pampanga Rep. Juan Pablo “Rimpy” Bondoc nominated the “comebacking” Romero during a short lull in the plenary debates on the proposed 2020 national budget.
Romero replaced Camarines Sur Rep. LRay Villafuerte – one of Cayetano’s staunchest allies the past 15 months – as deputy speaker.
Bondoc also announced that Oriental Mindoro Rep. Doy Leachon was nominated as senior deputy speaker – the first time that the House had such a position — eplacing presidential son Davao City Rep. Paolo Duterte.
It was the original position offered to Velasco by then-Speaker Cayetano whom he had a term-sharing agreement with. The Marinduque solon instead took the chairmanship of the Committee on Energy, the same panel he held during the previous 17th Congress.
Rep. Duterte resigned as deputy speaker earlier this week. He was named Committee on Accounts chairman Tuesday, after Velasco’s claim to the Speakership was sealed.
Leachon practically served as Velasco’s spokesman the past few weeks when the Speakership fight was at its most volatile state.
He was previously head of the House contingent to the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal (HRET) but was also removed as a result of the bruising rivalry between Cayetano and Velasco.