MANILA, Philippines — With the return of Mandaluyong congressman and former House majority leader Neptali Gonzales Jr. to the House of Representatives, it appears the incumbent majority leader is headed for a different post in the next Congress.
Speaker Jose De Venecia has asked Davao City Rep. Prospero Nograles, the House majority leader in the outgoing 13th Congress, to head the House contingent to the Commission on Appointments, the House of Representatives information division reported Thursday.
In a statement, De Venecia said that if he’s elected anew to lead the House, he will ask Nograles to “consider the possibility of leading the House contingent to the powerful commission, which lately has been rocked with controversies.”
There are 12 members of the House in the bicameral commission that screens and confirms the President’s appointees to the Cabinet and other key government positions.
De Venecia’s statement comes in the wake of a newspaper report that said he and Nograles have broken their alliance due allegedly to Nograles’ failure as majority leader to shepherd the passage of the new charter of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor).
There have also been persistent speculation that Nograles may be on the way out as majority leader because of Gonzales’ return to the House after serving as Mandaluyong City’s mayor. Gonzales also served as majority leader under De Venecia in a previous Congress.
Both Gonzales and Nograles are staunch allies of De Venecia.
The position of majority leader carries with it the chairmanship of the powerful House committee on rules.
“(Nograles), who is senior leader of the House of Representatives, will be able to initiate the reforms and provide utmost transparency as head of the House Contingent in the CA,” De Venecia said.