MANILA - Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos was part of the campaign to make former President and incumbent Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo House Speaker, a lawmaker revealed Monday.
Quezon City Rep. Winston Castelo said this is the reason why he believes efforts to retain Ilocos Norte Rep. Rodolfo Fariñas, Marcos' political rival, as majority leader did not succeed.
Camarines Sur. Rep. Rolando Andaya was named House majority leader on Monday. Fariñas, meanwhile, is being touted as minority leader, Quezon Rep. Danilo Suarez earlier said.
Castelo said he has seen a manifesto of support for Fariñas
as minority leader but no one has backed it. "Doon sa Viber group, pero it's not yet catching fire," he said.
Arroyo was elected House Speaker on the same day President Rodrigo Duterte delivered his State of the Nation Address at the Batasang Pambansa.
She replaced Davao del Norte Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez who earlier drew the ire of Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, for supposedly calling her regional party part of the opposition.
Alvarez had denied the claims but was ousted anyway. Duterte-Carpio refused to comment if she had a hand on the ouster but had congratulated Arroyo for her ascent to the House leadership.
Duterte-Carpio, Arroyo, and the lawmakers who supported the Pampanga representative shared a "thank you lunch" at a hotel in Quezon City on Monday.
Marcos was among the politicians who went to the private social gathering. Leyte Rep. Yedda Romualdez, the wife of of Marcos' cousin Martin Romualdez, was elected as House accounts committee chair later that afternoon.
The accounts committee chair controls the funds of the House of Representatives.--report from RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News