Manila Bulletin - November 19, 2000

1st woman name to top House post

Castillo elected majority leader

Rep. Bellaflor Angara Castillo (LDP, Aurora) has been elected new House majority floor leader, the first lady to assume that top post in the history of the country's legislature.

Castillo was the unanimous choice for the important post under the new House leadership of Speaker Arnulfo Fuentebella.

She automatically becomes the chairwoman of the powerful rules committee of the House of Representatives. She used to be the senior deputy majority floor leader and vice chairwoman of the committee on rules.

Castillo said her main agenda is to speed up deliberations on important House measures, especially those on economic development.

"This critical juncture of our history needs a responsive House, a House that swiftly moves to craft policies that address the nation's woes," said Castillo.

Castillo's legislative work has been focused on education, agricultural concerns, population and development, environmental protection and personal rights.

Castillo, a lawyer trained at the University of the Philippines where she was salutatorian of her law class.

She was honored as one of the country's top lady lawyers before she entered politics in 1995. She has received many awards and citations for her work on law and public policy.

She is a member of the Phi Kappa Phi and Pi Gamma Mu honor societies.

During the 10th Congress, she was cited as the congressional freshmen with the most number of national and local bills enacted into law. She also received several awards for her outstanding but low-key work as a legislator.

Her late husband, Gregorio Castillo, was considered one of the country's best corporate lawyer during his years in active law practice. He topped the bar examinations.

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