The 12 weeks remaining in the legislative calendar failed to discourage the House of Representatives from welcoming its newest member.
House Speaker Feliciano "Sonny" Belmonte Jr. sworn in Federation of Jeepney Operators and Drivers Alliance of the Philippines (Fejodap) President Zeny De Castro-Maranan this week as a new lawmaker at the lower House.
Maranan is now representing 1-United Transport Koalisyon (1-Utak) in place of Homer Mercado, who resigned from his post to be able to represent another party-list group in the mid-term elections.
In a separate interview, Mercado said he would attempt to win a party-list seat for 1-Joint Alliance for the Marginalized (1-Jam).
In a resolution, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) orders "any selected party-list representative who changes his political party or sectoral affiliation during his term of office shall forfeit his seat."
Meanwhile, the new lawmaker vowed to champion the advocacy left behind by her late husband for the interests of jeepney drivers.
Maranan also promised to push the apprehension of policemen, who force public utility vehicle (PUV) drivers and operators to give bribes to escape traffic violation penalties.
She also called for the modernization of jeepney fleets by funding the conversion of diesel engines for all them to run on liquefied petroleum gas.
A magnitude 4.4 earthquake struck Quezon province at around 7 p.m. Wednesday, with shocks felt in many cities in Metro Manila. …