Duterte: Cayetano, Velasco to share term as House Speaker
Robie de Guzman • July 8, 2019 • 1875
MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday announced that his bet for the Speaker of the House of Representatives of the 18th Congress is Taguig-Pateros Representative Alan Peter Cayetano, who will share the term with Marinduque Representative Lord Allan Velasco.
In a statement, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo confirmed that Duterte made the announcement after the three speakership candidates sought the assistance of the President to settle the conflict among them.
The chief executive earlier distanced himself from the speakership race, but leading candidates for the post and other solons persistently asked him to pick his bet.
“Since the election of the Speaker has resulted in a bitter and fractious rivalry that threatens the break-up of political allies, the President, to save the unity of the alliance and avert its fragmentation, obliged to the request of the three candidates,” Panelo said in a statement.
The Palace official said it was decided that Cayetano would serve as speaker first, to be succeeded by Velasco.
“It’s Allan Cayetano as the Speaker in the first 15 months, then the next 21 months, the Speaker will be Lord Allan Velasco,” Panelo said.
The president also said that Leyte Representative Martin Romualdez will serve as the House Majority Floor Leader.
Velasco’s bid for the top House position was endorsed by the president’s political party, PDP-Laban.
The issue on term-sharing was first brought up by Cayetano, who claimed this set up was suggested and approved by Duterte himself when he met with speaker aspirants during a recent trip in Japan.
However, Velasco denied agreeing to such a deal, saying this would weaken the speakership itself and slow down the work at the lower chamber.
Romualdez also rejected the idea of term-sharing for the same reasons.
Panelo said Velasco and Romualdez have agreed to respect the president’s decision on the matter.
House members are set to elect the next Speaker when the session of the 18th Congress officially opens in the morning of July 22, the same day when Duterte will deliver his fourth State of the Nation Address.
MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has picked Army chief Lt. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana as the next chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Malacañang announced Wednesday.
“We are confident that General Sobejana will continue to modernize our military and undertake reform initiatives to make the Armed Forces truly professional in its mandate as the protector of the people and the State,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a statement.
“We wish General Sobejana all the best in his new tour of duty as we pray for his success,” he added.
Sobejana succeeds General Gilbert Gapay, who is set to bow out of service as he reaches the mandatory age retirement of 56 next week.
Gapay took the post in August 2020 after also leading the Philippine Army.
Sobejana is a member of the Philippine Military Academy Hinirang Class of 1987.
He has been awarded the Medal of Valor, the country’s highest military honor for his bravery during a 1995 gun battle against Abu Sayyaf group in Basilan.
Sobejana then led various units including the 1st Scout Ranger Company, recognized as Best Company in 1994; 3rd Scout Ranger Battalion, awarded as Best Battalion in 2009; 601st Infantry Brigade, named Best Brigade in 2016; and 6th Infantry Division, Philippine Army, awarded as Best Division in 2018.
He also served as the Commandant of the Scout Ranger Training School; Commander of the Civil-Military Operations Group (now Regiment), Philippine Army; Commander of Joint Task Force Sulu; Commander of the 6th Infantry “Kampilan” Division, Philippine Army.
He also served as Commander of AFP Western Mindanao Command.
In May 2019, Duterte bestowed him the Philippine Legion of Honor (Degree of Legionnaire), for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding service rendered to the Philippine Government, particularly to the Armed Forces of the Philippines, according to the Philippine Army’s website.
MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang stressed on Tuesday (January 26) that President Rodrigo Duterte already decided with finality that he would get coronavirus vaccine shot in private.
This, despite the suggestion of vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr to make it public as the President will boost confidence in the government’s vaccination program.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, however, said such is the President’s personal preference.
“He had said so. Sabi nga niya, dahil sa puwet siya magpapasaksak so hindi pwedeng public (He said he wants to get shot in the buttock so it cannot be public),” Roque said.
Duterte said he is willing to be inoculated and volunteered to be the one to get the first vaccine shot to set an example.
Roque said the President wants to have it done the way Queen Elizabeth II did by announcing it only after she and Prince Philip received the vaccine.
Other leaders, meanwhile, preferred to be vaccinated in public like US President Joe Biden, Indonesian President Joko Widodo, and Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. MNP (with reports from Rosalie Coz)
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