Solon says Palace hand always ‘prominent’ in choosing new Speaker
MANILA, Philippines — As the race for leadership in the lower chamber heats up, Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman said Wednesday that “Malacañang’s hand” has always been a prominent factor in the selection for House Speaker.
“In all of the speakership fight which I have witnessed, it’s always the hand of Malacañang which is prominent in the selection of a leader of the House. I don’t think there has been any exemption to that,” Lagman, a senior lawmaker, said in an interview with ABS-CBN News Channel.
There are three contenders for the speakership post for the 18th Congress: Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco, incoming Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez, and incoming Taguig-Pateros Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano. They met with President Rodrigo Duterte earlier during his recent official trip in Japan.
But if only these three will vie for the speakership post, then “most probably, affinity to Malacañang is a major standard” in choosing the next Speaker, said Lagman.
“And I hate to say, that would destroy the independence, integrity of the House,” he said.
Lagman, an opposition lawmaker, also floated the possibility of having a fourth candidate, since the present candidates for speakership do not have majority of the support of all members of the House.
“Also no one at the moment has been the sole preference of the President… Not just three, but there could be a fourth [candidate],” he said.
He also said the super majority in the House will allow a “true minority” to emerge to give way for discussion of different views. (Editor: Jonathan P. Vicente)
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