MANILA - Quezon City Rep. Feliciano Belmonte has been reelected Speaker of the House while Senator Franklin Drilon was elected Senate President Monday at the start of the 16th Congress.
Belmonte won by a landslide over his rivals for the post. San Juan Rep. Ronaldo Zamora automatically becomes minority leader.
His re-election bolsters the influence of the administration party’s role in the passage of bills backed by President Benigno Aquino III.
The joint session of both Houses of Congress will start at 4:00 p.m., with Aquino's state of the nation address.
In his acceptance speech, Belmonte said: "I pledge to honor your trust with a voice that respects all voices in this chamber."
Meanwhile, Drilon of the Liberal Party was elected Senate President after getting 17 votes. It is the fourth time that he will lead the Senate.
Sen. Ralph Recto was elected Senate President Pro Tempore while Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano was named Senate majority leader and chairman of committee on rules.
Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda congratulated Drilon for his election.
"We welcome the election of Sen. Franklin Drilon as Senate President. We are confident that he will be our partner in pursuing the reforms under the Aquino Administration," he said in a statement. With a report from Ryan Chua, ABS-CBN News