Ungab, Leachon lose committees

Jove Moya

MEMBERS of the House of Representatives elected on Monday, March 2, ACT CIS Party-list Representative Eric Yap as the new chairman for the appropriation committee, replacing Davao City Rep. Isidro Ungab, who was ousted from his post.

According to Yap, House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano approached him Monday morning, and asked him to take over the committeee on appropriations.

Kabataan Party-list Rep. Ron Salo also replaced Oriental Mindoro Representative Salvador “Doy” Leachon as the new head of the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal.

Rep. Lito Atienza earlier warned of Cayetano’s plan to declare all posts vacant and call for fresh votes amid rumors of a plot to oust him and install Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco ahead of the scheduled turnover under a term-sharing agreement.

“I believe that the only guide to a man is his conscience, and the truth will always prevail no matter what,” Ungab, who was endorsed by the Hugpong ng Pagbabago of presidential daughter Sara Duterte-Carpio, said in a statement.

“I have served my country and people well to the utmost of my ability. I accept my fate and so be it,” he added.

Yap added that he was a member of the bicameral conference committee on the 2020 General Appropriations Act.

Cayetano told reporters on Monday that he is ready to step down if his colleagues want to oust him.

“I believe in what I believe. I will not be transactional. I will not sacrifice my principles and this administration’s priorities. I believe most members of Congress see and appreciate the reforms I stand for. If they do, then I will continue to serve as their Speaker,” said Cayetano.

Under a term-sharing agreement forged in the presence of President Rodrigo Duterte, Cayetano will serve as Speaker until October 2020. Velasco will then take over until the end of the 18th Congress. (SunStar Philippines)