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Mercado to replace GMA

March 18 - 24, 2017

QUEZON CITY - With the recent shake up in the leadership positions of the House of Representatives because of the Death Penalty Bill, Southern Leyte Representative Roger Mercado is poised to assume one of the fourteen Deputy Speaker positions when the lower house resumes its session this coming May 2.

Mercado, who is currently the chairman of the Committee on Constitutional Amendments, confirmed this development during a presscon at Kinamot sa Abgao that Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez is considering him as the possible replacement of out-going deputy speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

Deputy Speakers are the second highest-ranking officials of the House of Representatives, and are tasked to assume the duties and powers of the Speaker when he is absent or incapacitated, to monitor, coordinate and facilitate action on measures filed, requests, and other concerns of Members representing constituencies to which they may be assigned.

The former president (Arroyo) was ousted as deputy speaker after voting against the death penalty bill (HB 4727) which Mercado together with 217 other congressmen voted in favor of to pass as law.

Eleven other congressmen who did not support the death penalty bill also lost their committee chairmanships due to the controversial bill. House Bill (HB) Number 4727, if approved by the Senate, would allow judicial courts to punish perpetrators of seven (7) drug related crimes with either life imprisonment or death.

The bill is being questioned though by some senators for excluding the crimes of rape and plunder as falling under those acts that would merit a death penalty.(By MARK L. RIMAS)






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