275 solons part of supermajority bloc in House under Velasco leadership
MANILA, Philippines — Two hundred seventy-five lawmakers have so far signed to remain in the House of Representatives’ supermajority bloc under the leadership of Speaker Lord Allan Velasco.
Deputy Speaker for Political Affairs Mikee Romero disclosed this Friday after Velasco met with leaders from various leaders from different political parties in the lower chamber.
According to Romero, the minority bloc under the Velasco-led House is composed of 22 lawmakers, while three have opted to be independent and join neither the majority and minority bloc.
INQUIRER.net is still trying to secure a full list of the lawmakers in the majority, minority, and independent blocs.
Among those discussed during the meeting, Romero said, was to prioritize and expedite the legislative agenda of President Rodrigo Duterte as well as finishing the 2021 national budget in the bicameral conference committee on time.
— Neil Arwin Mercado (@NAMercadoINQ) November 20, 2020
Velasco was officially elected to lead the lower chamber in October following the ouster of then-Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano.
Following Velasco’s election, several Cayetano-allied lawmakers were removed from key House posts.
The first to take a hit was Camarines Sur 2nd Dist. Rep. Luis Raymund Villafuerte Jr., one of Cayetano’s most vocal allies, who was stripped off his deputy speakership post merely a day into Velasco’s stint as the new speaker of the House.
Villafuerte was replaced by 1-PACMAN Rep. Mikee Romero, who Cayetano previously removed as deputy speaker at the height of the speakership row.
On Wednesday, November 18, Capiz 2nd District Rep. Fredenil Castro, Laguna 1st District Rep. Dan Fernandez, and Batangas 2nd District Rep. Raneo Abu were replaced as deputy speakers. The three lawmakers are known allies of Cayetano.
Kabayan Rep. Ron Salo was also replaced as the head of the House contingent to the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal (HRET).
Cayetano said he remains supportive of Velasco’s leadership despite the recent leadership revamps that saw his allies axed from their posts. [ac]
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