HOUSE Minority Leader Edcel Lagman (first district, Albay) named Representative Orland Fua (lone district, Siquijor) as its bet to head the Committee on Ethics.

This after House Speaker Feliciano "Sonny" Belmonte assigned the Ethics chairmanship post to the minority bloc.

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Lagman initially wanted that the Committee on Good Government but admitted that it would be impossible as most committee chairmanships are awarded to members of the majority.

The ethics committee is expected to investigate the drug trafficking case of Representative Ronald Singson (first district, Ilocos Sur) in Hong Kong.

Members of the House majority lauded the decision of Belmonte, saying that it will help ensure transparency in Congress.

"It reflects the kind of leadership he offers which is one with objective accountability and transparency," said Majority Leader and Representative Neptali Gonzales II (lone district, Mandaluyong).

Deputy Speaker Lorenzo Tanada III, Representatives Benhur Salimbangon (fourth district, Cebu), and Rachel "Cutie" Del Mar (north district, Cebu City) told Sun.Star that they believe Belmonte has good intentions assigning the ethics committee to the minority.

"I have no doubt that he has only the good intentions in doing so and I give my full trust and confidence on his leadership," Salimbangon added.

Representative Karlo Nograles (first district, Davao City), son of former House Speaker Prospero and a member of the Lakas-Kampi, said the judgment of Belmonte showed that he wants to start right.

"By giving the ethics committee chairmanship to a member of the minority, speaker Belmonte will be ensuring checks-and-balance in the House while promoting transparency and accountability in the affairs of its members. I salute the speaker on this initiative," the younger Nograles added. (Kathrina Alvarez/Sunnex)