Let ‘supermajority’ and opposition duel for House speakership – Lagman

/ 02:09 PM May 23, 2019

MANILA, Philippines — Albay 1st Dist. Rep. Edcel Lagman has called on all administration-allied political parties in the House of Representatives to field just one candidate for the speakership who must go head-to-head with a contender from the “genuine” opposition.

The leader of the independent and opposition “Magnificent 7” bloc said in a statement: “This square-off will assure the emergence of a legitimate and authentic opposition leader unlike the charade in the 17th congress where the Minority Leader was handpicked by the supermajority.”


Lagman aired his proposal as five lawmakers are being floated as contenders for the post: former Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, Representatives-elect Lord Allan Velasco of Marinduque, Martin Romualdez of Leyte, Alan Peter Cayetano of Taguig-Pateros, and Loren Legarda of Antique.

Alvarez and Velasco are from the ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino–Lakas ng Bayan, while Romualdez is from Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats. Cayetano, meanwhile, is from the Nacionalista Party, and Legarda is from Nationalist People’s Coalition.


READ: Alvarez seeks redemption, joins 5 others in race for next Speaker | PDP-Laban set to regain speakership

Lagman stressed in a phone call with INQUIRER.net that the second contender should come from the “genuine” opposition and not from the Minority group led by Quezon Rep. Danilo Suarez.

There are two independent and non-administration allied groups in the lower chamber: the Magnificent bloc – composed of lawmakers from the Liberal Party, Magdalo, and Akbayan, and the Makabayan group – composed of progressive party-lists Bayan Muna, ACT Teachers, Gabriela, Kabataan, and Anakpawis.

All of those vying to be next Speaker are known allies of the present administration and have vowed to pursue President Rodrigo Duterte’s legislative agenda in the 18th Congress, which is expected to be dominated by a supermajority of pro-administration lawmakers.

READ: LP sees same ‘tyranny of majority’ in next Congress

The 17th Congress will adjourn sine die on June 8, while the 18th Congress will open on July 22, the same day that the next Speaker would be elected. Duterte would also deliver his fourth State of the Nation Address on July 22.  (Editor: Katherine G. Adraneda)

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