Castro considering House minority leader post

House Deputy Speaker Fredenil Castro.

Former House Majority Leader Fredenil Castro may take the Minority Leader post in the 18th Congress upon the prodding of his colleagues.

In order “to maintain a credible balance of opinion on all issues” in the lower chamber, Castro said in a statement he is open to the suggestion.

“I am seriously studying whether I could maintain my balance considering the hairline difference between being a minority member from an opposition. This is because, critical collaboration as distinguished from being destructive is called for,” Castro stated.

Castro added that he will wait for guidance before he respond to the “Macedonian call.”

In the latter part of the 17th Congress, Castro replaced Camarines Sur Rep. Rolando Andaya Jr. as Majority Leader.

Congress will vote for the next Speaker on 22 July.

Former Minority Leader Danilo Suarez said the House is abiding by the “Fariñas Doctrine,” the Supreme Court ruling which provides that those who did not vote for the winning candidate will be the members of the Minority and they will elect their leader from among themselves on the same day.

This system was based on the Fariñas versus Baguilat case which the judicial body ruled in favor of former Ilocos Norte congressman.

Fariñas stand was that all those who vote for the winning Speaker shall belong to the majority and those who voted for the other candidates shall belong to the minority. Likewise, those who abstained from voting shall be considered part of the minority.

In 2016, Ifugao Representative Teddy Baguilat Jr. and his allies questioned the legality of Quezon Rep. Danny Suarez’s election as House Minority Leader.

As runner-up in the Speakership race to Davao del Norte Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez, the Ifugao solon wanted to be automatically declared Minority Leader.