Velasco allies deny ouster plot vs Majority Leader Romualdez
MANILA, Philippines — Allies of House Speaker Lord Allan Velasco on Tuesday denied an alleged plot to oust Majority Leader Martin Romualdez from his post, saying such claims should be backed by evidence.
Deputy Speaker Doy Leachon, a known close ally of Velasco, denied the alleged ouster plot, saying there is no reason to remove the majority leader from his post.
“It’s not true. Sana alam ko kung totoo. No reason at all because [the] relationship with [Majority Leader] Martin has been so far professional and untainted,” Leachon said in a text message.
Deputy Speaker Arnie Teves, also a known ally of Velasco, said the House Speaker will continue to stand by the “15-21 agreement” with former Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano.
Under the said agreement, Romualdez shall serve as the House majority leader while Cayetano would be the House Speaker for the first 15 months of the 18th Congress, with Velasco taking over for the last 21 months.
Cayetano was ousted as House Speaker in October 2020.
“As to the issue on papatalsikin si Boss Martin as Majo leader, hindi ako naniniwala dun na mangyayari yun, dahil kahapon lang, magkausap kami ni Speaker, he will abide by the usapan,” Teves said in a phone interview.
“Speaker Lord Allan Velasco will abide by that agreement,” the lawmaker added.
The House leaders were reacting to a news report that Velasco was planning to oust Romualdez as the leadership shuffle continues in the lower chamber.
To recall, Zamboanga Sibugay Rep. Wilter Palma was replaced as Deputy Majority Leader while Quezon City Rep. Anthony Peter Crisologo was also replaced as Assistant Majority Leader.
Both Palma and Crisologo are party mates of Romualdez in Lakas-CMD, where the majority leader serves as the president.
An ‘inevitable’ move
Anakalusugan Rep. Mike Defensor, an ally of Lakas-CMD, believes that a move to oust Romualdez seems to be “inevitable”, especially with the recent removal of Palma and Crisologo from their posts.
Defensor himself has been stripped of several House leadership posts after Velasco took over as House Speaker.
“I don’t think it’s a rumor, I think there’s really a movement and people are talking about it, at marami sa kampo nila yung kumakalat at nagsasalita,” Defensor said in an interview with reporters.
“As far as the official act itself, kung meron na talagang decision ang leadership, baka ‘yun ang hindi pa malinaw,” he added.
According to Defensor, it was not clear why Palma and Crisologo were removed from their posts.
“Pag tinanggal mo ‘yung mga taong nagta-trabaho doon, o kasapi nung majority leader ng walang pasabi sa kanya, ng hindi malinaw kung bakit tinanggal, sa tingin ko ito yung mga sitwasyon, na magbubunga o this will be the situation that will create the problem, and inevitably mangyayari at mangyayari talaga na magkakaroon talaga ng banggaan,” Defensor said.
Both Velasco and Romualdez have so far been silent on the issue.
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