Rep. Villar lauded for declining deputy speaker position; House leadership chided for appointment

Published November 21, 2020, 4:37 PM

by Ben Rosario

The current leadership of the House of Representatives has only itself to blame for the decision of Las Pinas Rep. Camille Villar to turn down her “election” as deputy speaker, a Nacionalista Party lawmaker said yesterday.

Requesting anonymity, the NP solon lauded Villar’s decision to decline the position offered, noting that it was made in consideration of the party’s well-being in mind. 

The NP lawmaker recalled that the decision of the House leadership to designate Villar was relayed last week to her mother, Senator Cynthia Villar, who, at first, saw nothing wrong with the appointment.

“However, whoever informed the Villars about the decision did not give a full disclosure of the leadership’s plan,” the source said. “They withheld the fact that their plan was to relieve Rannie Abu as deputy speaker and appoint Camille to take his place.”

Batangas Rep. Abu is the most senior NP member in the Lower House and staunchly supported former speaker and Taguig-Pateros Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano in the recent bitter speakership war that incumbent Speaker Lord Allan Vealsco won.

“There was lack of transparency, if not decency, in the way they wanted Abu out from the leadership,” said the NP source.

He noted that had Camille accepted the position, this decision will spark an intra-party controversy that will put the Villars in bad light.

“Somebody in the House leadership goofed.  We do hope it is not intentional,” the NP solon stated.

The party leadership was reportedly made to believe that the young Villar was to be appointed to a newly-created deputy speakership post.  Party officials were allegedly not informed that her appointment will cost Abu’s post.

In a letter sent by Rep. Villar to Speaker Lord Allan Velasco a few hours after her election as deputy speaker, she stressed that she was appreciative of the leadership’s decision to designate her deputy speaker.

“I would like to express my sincere appreciation for the honor and opportunity offered me.  Allow me, however, to humbly decline the nomination and designation as Deputy Speaker,” Villar said in her letter.

“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 kababayans amid the past disasters and the pandemic,” her letter read in part.

It added: “But the greater tact is adherent responsibility to our constituents, the adroit loyalty to allies and friends and the constant affinity to the leadership and nation.”