3 Speaker aspirants woo party list bloc
Three contenders for the post of House Speaker have started courting the votes of party list representatives who have organized themselves into a 60-member coalition.
1-Pacman party list Rep. Mikee Romero, who was elected president of the party list bloc said that Representatives Lord Allan Velasco (Marinduque), Ferdinand Martin Romualdez (Leyte First District) and Alan Peter Cayetano (Taguig-Pateros) were given a chance to present their plans and legislative agenda to members of the coalition during a meeting in Pasig City on Thursday.
The other possible contenders, which include Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez (Davao Del Norte First District), Antique Rep.-elect Loren Legarda and presidential son, Rep.-elect Paolo Duterte (Davao City), may also be invited in the next meeting to speak to the coalition members, Romero said.
The next Speaker of the 18th Congress should address the prevailing sentiment among party list representatives that they “were being treated as second-class citizens in the House of Representatives,” he added.
“All we want is a proportionate share because we comprise 20 percent of the whole House membership, and we have a constituency of around 30 million,” Romero told reporters on the sidelines of the coalition meeting.
Excluding the six-member Makabayan bloc, the coalition of party list groups has a membership of around 50 members, the second biggest voting faction in the incoming Congress, he said.
Romero said Thursday’s meeting was part of a process that would enable the coalition to choose their candidate for the Speakership since they are supposedly expected to vote as a bloc.
“After we [have] talked to [all candidates], then we can decide. We have to align ourselves to a certain Speaker aspirant,” he said.
Romero, however, conceded that President Duterte’s choice will carry “a lot of weight” although “the coalition is looking at what is most beneficial to our constituents.”
The Commission on Elections on Wednesday evening proclaimed the 51 winning party list groups in the May 13 elections, with top vote getters ACT-CIS and Bayan Muna assured of three seats each.
At least six other party list groups are set to get two House seats each, while 43 other party list organizations are entitled to one seat each.
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