Party-list coalition’s choice for speaker down to Velasco, Romualdez – solon
MANILA, Philippines – The party-list coalition’s candidates for House of Representatives speaker are down to two – Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco and Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez, reelected Puwersa ng Bayaning Atleta Rep. Jericho Nograles said Tuesday.
Nograles, a member of the Partylist Coalition Foundation Inc. (PCFI), said the 54 coalition members have decided to narrow down their choices to Velasco and Romualdez, believing that “they are the only ones who are truly serious in the bid for the position.”
Among the confirmed contenders for the speakership, Velasco and Romualdez are the “only ones who have strong connections with party-list groups,” Nograles added.
“Our choice is down to two. Velasco or Romualdez. This will be a tough decision to make because both of them are close to our hearts but we will definitely choose the speaker who can treat us justly and fairly,” he said in a statement.
“I observed that our party – list congressmen are one in the belief that under a Velasco or a Romualdez speakership, we will be treated fairly and the concerns of our constituents will be heard and respected.”
Nograles, meanwhile, chided other aspirants for the speakership.
“Parang mababa ang tingin sa amin,” he lamented.
Nograles, however, refused to identify the said candidates but stressed that in the end, the PCFI, headed by 1-Pacman party-list Rep. Michael Romero, would vote as one.
Romero said there is no official PCFI position yet as they still need to meet their members next week.
“But we give utmost importance and respect to the sentiments of each and every PL member,” he added in a statement.
Another bloc member, reelected Bagong Henerasyon Rep. Bernadette Herrera-Dy, also told INQUIRER.net that there was no such decision “just yet.”
Former speaker and Davao del Norte 1st District Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez, Pampanga 3rd District Rep. Aurelio Gonzales Jr. and Taguig-Pateros Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano also confirmed their plan to join the five-way speakership battle.
Velasco, Cayetano, Romualdez and Gonzales met with the party-list coalition members and asked for their support.
Velasco, Alvarez, and Gonzales are all members of President Rodrigo Duterte’s ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino–Lakas ng Bayan party.
Meanwhile, Romualdez is from the Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats party, and Cayetano is from the Nacionalista Party.
All five aspirants are known allies of the present administration and have vowed to pursue the President’s legislative agenda in the 18th Congress. (Editor: Gilbert S. Gaviola)
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