'Cayetano assured no deprivation for House minority bloc'

Karl Cedrick Basco, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 22 2019 09:47 PM

MANILA — Newly elected House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano assured members of the minority in the 18th Congress they can still handle vice chairmanships or memberships in major committees, a lawmaker said. 

AKO-Bicol party-list Rep. Alfredo Garbin Jr. said Cayetano informed them that they will not be "deprived" during his leadership in the lower house.

“Yesterday, we were able to speak to him very brief lang. He assured us na even if we belong to the minority, we will not be deprived of memberships and vice chairmanships in all major committees except for Committee on Appropriation,” Garbin said.

Garbin was one of the 31 lawmakers who did not vote for Cayetano for the House speakership post.

Allies of President Rodrigo Duterte supported his endorsement for his 2016 elections runningmate. A total 266 lawmakers voted for the Taguig-Pateros representative. 

Garbin said committees related to tourism, games, and justice might be given to the minority bloc, citing previous practices in the House of Representatives. 

“In the previous congresses, binibigyan din ang mga members ng minority ng mga major positions or major memberships,” Garbin explained. 

“Ang sabi niya sa amin, ‘if there are precedence, bakit ko naman babaliin? Rerespetuhin ko rin naging practice,’” the party-list representative said. 

Garbin believes that that ethics and public accounts committees, the check and balance of Congress, will be allocated to the minority. 

They also have two assured slots in the Committee on Appointments wherein party-list coalition is pushing Garbin to be part of along with Rep. Sharon Garin.