Camarines Sur 2nd District Rep. Luis Raymund Villafuerte Jr. (left) and 1-PACMAN Party-list Rep. Mikee Romero (right)

The shake up in the House of Representatives continue as a staunch ally of ousted Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano gets the boot.

Camarines Sur 2nd District Rep. Luis Raymund Villafuerte Jr. was removed as deputy speaker of the House of Representatives and replaced by 1-PACMAN Party-list Rep. Mikee Romero, a staunch ally of Speaker Lord Allan Jay Velasco of Marinduque.

During the House session on Wednesday, lawmakers moved to replace Villafuerte as deputy speaker and re-elect Romero.

Romero was replaced as deputy speaker last week during the speakership squabble that almost paralyzed the House. 

Immediately after getting replaced, Villafuerte said those who had him removed “miscalculated badly.”

“If the intention of removing me was to intimidate all those who remain loyal to former Speaker Cayetano, then they have miscalculated badly,” Villafuerte said.

He stressed that the lower chamber need to needs to be united which he supports but he reminded the new House leaders that it “has to come from the top.”

“But if the new leadership chooses divisiveness over unity, to move back, instead of forward, and to reject our offers of cooperation – that is no longer on me. It is up to them to explain why they are violating the commitments they have made,” he adds.

Villafuerte, however, says that in spite of what has happened, he still supports the legislative agenda of the president.  

Meanwhile, another staunch Velasco ally, Oriental Mindoro 1st District Rep. Doy Leachon, was elected senior deputy speaker.  He takes over the post of presidential son and Davao City 1st District Rep. Paolo Duterte who now chairs the House Accounts Committee

Deputy speakers are the second-highest ranking officials in the House of Representatives. They preside over the session of the House in plenary in the absence of the speaker. In the case of the speaker’s resignation, the deputy speakers shall elect from among themselves an acting.

In Cayetano’s case, he resigned after the House ratified the October 12 speakership vote on Velasco thus the deputy speakers did not elect Cayetano’s replacement among their ranks.  Rommel F. Lopez