Speaker race: PDP-Laban open to term sharing, wants Velasco to sit first
MANILA, Philippines—The ruling PDP-Laban party has expressed openness to the idea of term sharing between the front-runners in the House leadership race but wants their nominee, Marinduque Rep. Lord Alan Velasco, to sit as Congress leader first.
In a statement Wednesday, PDP-Laban President, Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III, said Velasco should sit as Speaker first “since he already has an overwhelming number of members of Congress supporting him.”
Taguig-Pateros Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano, one of the top nominees for Speaker, earlier claimed that President Rodrigo Duterte had pushed for a term-sharing agreement among the contenders for the top Congress post during their meeting in Japan.
However, Cayetano said the deal did not push through as Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Jay Velasco balked at the proposal.
Duterte, who serves as PDP-Laban chairman, confirmed this last week, saying that Velasco backed out at the “last minute.”
The initial term-sharing deal has Cayetano sitting first for 15 months before he will be succeeded by Velasco for 21 months.
“Ano iyong… So ‘yan ang ano. Ito sabi ko. Maghati kayo ng term. Ang gusto ni Cayetano mauna siya. But he will stay there just for 15 months. That’s what he committed. Si — and Velasco can have the – the other half, which is not really as short as — 21 months,” Duterte told reporters in an interview in Malacañang.
“Sabihin ko mag-ano… Ganun ang proposal. Pumayag na si Cayetano but si Velasco mukhang last minute nag-back out,” he added. (Editor: Eden Estopace)/ac
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