Seventy members of the House of Representatives, including Deputy Speaker Roberto Puno of the National Unity Party (NUP), are set to either complete their third and last terms or seek higher elective positions this year.
Besides Puno, who chairs the NUP, the “graduates” include three of his fellow Deputy Speakers-- Carlos Padilla of Nueva Vizcaya, Giorgidi Aggabao of Isabela and Pangalian Balindong of Lanao del Sur.
Majority Leader Neptali Gonzales II is also on his third and last term.
Other House leaders who will complete their last terms are committee chairpersons, among them: Isidro Ungab of Davao City, appropriations; Eleandro Jesus Madrona of Romblon, accounts; Niel Tupas Jr. of Iloilo, justice; Mark Llandro Mendoza of Batangas, agriculture; Elpidio Barzaga Jr. of Dasmarinas City, games and amusements; and Rufus Rodriguez of Cagayan de Oro City, ad hoc committee on the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law.
The “graduates” will complete their terms on June 30, when the life of the 16th Congress ends.
Representatives Diosdado Arroyo of Camarines Sur, Dan Fernandez of Sta. Rosa City, Magtanggol Gunigundo IV of Valenzuela City and Julio Ledesma IV of Negros Occidental are also “graduating” from the House.
In Manila, four are last termers: Amado Bagatsing, Zenaida Angping, Benjamin Asilo and Ma. Theresa Bonoan.
Outgoing members of the House also include those seeking higher office: Leni Robredo of Camarines Sur who is vying for the vice presidency; Manny Pacquiao of Sarangani, Sherwin Gatchalian of Valenzuela City, Martin Romualdez of Leyte, Roman Romulo of Pasig City, Neri Colmenares of Bayan Muna, Samuel Pagdilao of ACT-CIS, and Cresente Paez of COOP-NATCCO, who are all running for Senator.
Robredo, Gatchalian and Pagdilao are first termers who can return to the House until June 30 to finish their terms if they lose in the May 2016 elections.
The “graduating” members represent less than a fourth of the current House membership of 287 lawmakers.
Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr., NUP’s chairman emeritus, is seeking a third term as representative of Quezon City’s fourth district.