Visayan bloc to vote as one in speakership race | Inquirer News

Visayan bloc to vote as one in speakership race

/ 12:07 PM June 05, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The 43-strong Visayan bloc in the House of Representatives will vote as one in the 18th Congress’ speakership race, bloc leader and Negros Occidental 3rd District Rep. Alfredo “Albee” Benitez said Wednesday.

Benitez, whose third and last term will expire on June 30, said such was the consensus among lawmakers from the Visayas region in a meeting Tuesday night.

ADVERTISEMENT

“We will reconvene pa sa (in) July to make the announcement,” he said in a text message to INQUIRER.net.

Although Benitez is an outgoing House member, he will be succeeded by his brother, Francisco.

FEATURED STORIES

Asked if the group would support a contender from President Rodrigo Duterte’s ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino–Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) party or a candidate from the Visayan region, Benitez said the bloc agreed that their choice would “depend on the bloc’s preference.”

Benitez is also a PDP-Laban member.

Of the five confirmed aspirants for speaker, only incoming Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez is from the Visayas and is a member of the Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats party.

Meanwhile, PDP-Laban is fielding former speaker and Davao del Norte 1st District Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez, Marinduque Rep. Lord Alan Velasco and Pampanga 3rd District Rep. Aurelio Gonzales Jr. for the top House post.

The ruling party won 80 seats in the next Congress, party president Sen. Aquilino Pimentel III said.

Taguig-Pateros Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano of the Nacionalista Party (NP) is also joining the speakership race.

The NP and National Unity Party are supporting his bid.

ADVERTISEMENT

READ: National Unity Party backs Cayetano’s speakership bid

The 54-member party-list coalition, led by reelected 1-Pacman Rep. Michael Romero, is considered to be the next biggest bloc in the chamber.

It has yet to name its preferred candidate for speaker.

READ: House party-list bloc will still obey Duterte, Sara’s order on speakership

While outgoing Minority Leader and Quezon 3rd District Rep. Danilo Suarez said Romualdez already has the support of more than 153 congressmen across political parties, Velasco earlier said he has the “trust and confidence” of the President and Davao Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio.

The candidates for speaker are known allies of the present administration and have vowed to pursue the President’s legislative agenda in the next Congress, which would be dominated by a “supermajority” of pro-administration lawmakers.

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

The next speaker will be elected when the18th Congress opens on July 22. (Editor: Gilbert S. Gaviola)

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: Albee Benitez, Congress, House, latest news, Romauldez, speaker, Visayan bloc
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.
Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.



© Copyright 1997-2023 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.