Castro replaces Andaya as majority leader in House

RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 21 2019 03:44 PM | Updated as of Jan 21 2019 05:15 PM

MANILA - (UPDATE) Deputy Speaker Fredenil Castro is the new majority leader of the House of Representatives, after the plenary approved his nomination on Monday.

Castro, who represents Capiz, replaces Camarines Sur Rep. Rolando Andaya as majority leader.

"He (Castro) is a hard worker and fits the role, for, above all, he rightly sees the position for what it really is:not about power nor perks, for there are none, but for the diligence and the diplomacy and the work it requires, of which there are many," Andaya said.

Andaya meanwhile volunteered to chair the Appropriations Committee. 

"I would like to go down and be involved in settling the great unfinished business of this House, the national budget," he said.

The Capiz lawmaker earlier told reporters that he had a gentleman's agreement with Andaya at the start of Pampanga Rep. Gloria Arroyo's term as speaker last year.

“Kung mapaglilingkuran ang HOR, pagiging majority leader, why not?” said Castro.

(If I can serve the HOR as majority leader, why not?)

Castro said Malacañang had "nothing to do" with the reported leadership change. Andaya had sparred with Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno over alleged insertions in the 2019 budget worth P75 billion.

The change in the Majority Leadership comes amid Andaya’s investigation of the alleged anomalies in the government's budget.

Before stepping down, Andaya moved that the investigation be moved from the Rules Committee to the Appropriations Committee. 

Asked about the supposed House reshuffle on Sunday, Andaya denied there was such a change in the offing.

Andaya is running for governor of Camarines Sur.