Villafuerte on House committee chairmanship changes: No one is indispensable | Inquirer News

Villafuerte on House committee chairmanship changes: No one is indispensable

/ 04:27 PM October 07, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Deputy Speaker Luis Raymund Villafuerte on Wednesday said: “No one is entitled to a position” after three lawmakers were stripped of their committee chairmanship posts as the speakership row continues in the lower chamber.

Villafuerte made the statement a day after AAMBIS-OWA Partylist Rep. Sharon Garin, and Valenzuela City 2nd District Rep. Eric Martinez, and Quezon 4th District Rep. Helen Tan were removed from their respective committee chairmanship posts.

Tan was the chairperson of the House committee on health while Garin chaired the committee on economic affairs. Meanwhile, Martinez chaired the committee on youth and sports development.


“Prerogative naman ng majority yan. Again, it’s like this, if you cannot support the Speaker, you should have the delicadeza to resign. You cannot go against the Speaker, undermine him, and still want your position. It’s either you support the Speaker or not. It’s black and white,” Villafuerte told reporters in an online interview.


“No one is entitled to a position. Privilege and right niyo ba yun? Is it her entitlement? In Congress, no one is indispensable in the sense that if the majority wills it, you can be replaced,” the lawmaker added.

Asked about what the lawmakers did to merit their removal, Villafuerte said: “I know for a fact that they are working against the Speaker but that’s not probably the main reason.”

“Sinabi rin ni Deputy Speaker Fred Castro, you should have the delicadeza. You’re plotting, undermining the speakership, the leader, and you expect to be chairman? Para sa akin delicadeza yan. I mean they should have the delicadeza to step down,” Villafuerte said.

“If they don’t, then the majority has the option, prerogative to take them out,” he added.

Related to speakership issue

In a separate interview,  Garin and Martinez believe that their removal from their committee chairmanships is related to the speakership row.

Garin said her removal was not about her performance, but rather connected to the speakership squabble.


Garin accompanied Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco when he met with President Rodrigo Duterte and Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano to settle the speakership issue.

“I worked hard as a congressman. I don’t think naman—hindi naman yata sa performance ko yan. So I do believe it’s related to the speakership squabble,” Garin said.

“If this is the result of that—me believing that the 15-21 really is the agreement and should be honored and as well as because of the inputs of the President—then I will stick to what I believe is correct na 15-21 tayo,” she added.

According to Garin, her committee was able to pass several legislations such as the Public Service Act (PSA) which was deliberated on the plenary floor for six months.

“I’m chairman of economic affairs and I don’t know if you know that but I really worked hard in Congress. I don’t think I’m lacking naman in my performance,” Garin said.

Further, Garin said that the move showed that Cayetano does not have enough numbers in the House to stay in his post.

“It’s basically if you’re not with us then you’re out of your position. But that is very, very unparliamentary for me. Ang tagal ko na sa Kongreso, sampung taon na. It just shows to me, reading between the lines, that they don’t have enough support. They don’t have the numbers,” Garin said.

Meanwhile, Martinez, another ally of Velasco who was replaced as chairman of the committee on youth and sports development, said he was hurt by his removal especially when he had high hopes about Cayetano’s leadership when he took over in 2019.

“Obvious naman yun PDP-Laban ako, PDP-Laban is Cong. Lord Velasco. Let’s call spade a spade. Kanino kami pupunta? We’ll go hard and it is expected of the PDP-Laban congressman to really go hard and install the next speaker as [part of the] term-sharing agreement,” Martinez said.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

“Yun ang take ko. Kung anuman yung take ng kabila kung bakit ako tinanggal, it’s for them to explain it. But My take is, I did my job, I supported Speaker Alan Cayetano during my 14-month term as chairman of youth and sports—and more than that,” he added.

TAGS: Sharon Garin

© Copyright 1997-2024 | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.