PDP-Laban endorses Velasco as House Speaker bet

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 26, 2019   •   1188

Lord Allan Velasco

Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) has endorsed Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco as speaker of the House of Representatives.

Senator Manny Pacquiao announced Wednesday morning (June 26) that they signed a manifesto of support for Velasco as House Speaker.

“I am therefore announcing  the endorsement of support of PDP laban of Congressman Lord Allan Velasco as speaker of the House of Representatives in the whole term of 18th Congress,” he said.

The senator clarified that President Rodrigo Duterte was not involved in choosing their candidate for the position.

PDP-Laban’s Executive Vice President Congressman Aurelio Dong Gonzales said they finalized the manifesto on June 23, with 60 out of the 84 members signing.

Meanwhile, Velasco is humbled by the endorsement of PDP-Laban. In a statement, he said the endorsement inspired him to work harder

“If elected speaker of the 18th Congress as representative of the single most dominant party in Congress and the political party of President Rodrigo Duterte, I assure them that I will remain a consultative and a listening leader, who welcomes his fellow lawmakers regardless of their political colors and affiliations,” he said.—AAC (with reports from Grace Casin)

Cayetano seeks review of National Building Code

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 30, 2019

House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano

House of Representatives (HOR) Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano is pushing for a review of the National Building Code after the 6.6 magnitude earthquake on Tuesday in parts of Mindanao (October 29).

“I think it’s about time that we take three drastic steps. Number one, to review the National Building Code,” he said.

House Bill 4008 or the Building Code of 2019 aims to repeal the Presidential Decree 1046 or the National Building Code of the country.

Under the proposed bill, there will be new building standards to reduce the risk of severe damage during calamities like earthquakes. Non-compliance with the said standards can also lead to criminal liability.

In a statement, House Deputy Speaker and 1-PACMAN Rep. Mikee Romero said it is high time to change Presidential Decree 1046 because it was passed into law in 1977.

He also said there is poor compliance to the National Building Code.

“It is abundantly clear that poor compliance with the National Building Code is part of the systemic reason for the deaths, injuries, and widespread damage in Mindanao because of today’s magnitude 6.6 earthquake and the magnitude 6.3 earthquake last October 16,” he said.

The House Bill 4008 will be one of the priority bills to be discussed in the House of Representatives once session resumes on November 4.—AAC (with reports from Vincent Arboleda)

Cayetano: Term sharing deal with Velasco still stands but Duterte has final say

Robie de Guzman   •   October 17, 2019

New House of Representatives Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano walks up to his post on stage at the Philippine Congress in Quezon City, east of Manila, Philippines, 22 July 2019. EPA-EFE/ROLEX DELA PENA

MANILA, Philippines – House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano said that his term-sharing deal with Marinduque Representative Lord Alan Velasco still stands but stressed that President Rodrigo Duterte – who brokered the agreement – has the final say.

“No use talking about something na malayo pa. But wala naman dapat ikabahala yung kahit sino kasi nga lahat naman tayo ay sumasang-ayon na ang Pangulo ang magde-decide. And so far, meron siyang standing na decision and so far, that stands,” Cayetano said during the sidelines of his inspection of the 2019 SEA Games sports facilities in New Clark City in Capas, Tarlac on Wednesday, Oct. 16.

Cayetano made the statement in response to comments that it might be difficult to replace him after he got high trust and approval ratings in September Pulse Asia Survey.

Under the term-sharing deal, Cayetano would lead the Lower Chamber in the first 15 months while Velasco will serve the remaining 21 months of the three-year term.

Cayetano said he would ask the President for instructions a few months before his term ends as leader of the super majority.

“So I promised the President na I’ll do a good job. And then one month, two months before yung middle o yung pinag-usapan, I’ll go to him for instructions,” he said.

Velasco has yet to issue any reaction on the issue.

Malacañang, for its part, said that the President will not interfere and will let House members elect their own leader.

“Nasa members of Congress ‘yun. Actually, they are the ones choosing the Speaker,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said.

“I don’t think he interferes. His style is he doesn’t interfere unless you ask him to,” he added.

It can be recalled that the race for House Speakership got heated when a number of lawmakers including Cayetano, Velasco and Leyte 1st District Representative Martin Romualdez expressed interest in the speakership post.

The issue had divided House members until Duterte himself intervened and endorsed Cayetano as Speaker, who will share the term with Velasco.

In the same agreement, Romualdez was given the job as House Majority Floor Leader. — RRD (with details from Correspondent Vincent Arboleda)

Former Senator Nene Pimentel in ICU – PDP-Laban

Robie de Guzman   •   October 14, 2019

Former Senate President Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel Jr.

MANILA, Philippines – Former Senate President Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel Jr. is currently in an intensive care unit (ICU) of a hospital, an official from his political party, Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) confirmed Monday.

In a message posted on Twitter, PDP-Laban spokesperson Ron Munsayac appealed for prayers for the ailing senator.

“We are humbly asking our friends and partymates in the @PDPLABAN to pray for the full & speedy recovery of our founder and Chairman Emeritus Tatay Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel, Jr. who is currently in the ICU,” he said in his post.

His son, Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III, said in a message to reporters that his father is “very ill”and is “currently under treatment,” but did not provide further details.

“Doctors and hospital staff are doing their best to help him. We ardently ask that you join us in prayer for his full and complete recovery,” he said.

The 85-year old former lawmaker rose to national prominence in 1971 when he was elected as delegate to the Constitutional Convention representing Misamis Oriental.

In 1982, he founded the PDP-Laban to oppose the then-ruling Kilusang Bagong Lipunan of former President Ferdinand Marcos.

He was senator from 1987 to 1992 and again from 1998 to 2010. He served as Senate president from 2000 to 2001, and as Senate minority leader from 2001 to 2002, and 2004 to 2010.

During his time in the Senate, he authored and sponsored several key pieces of legislation including the Local Government Code of 1991, the Cooperative Code, the Philippine Sports Commission Act, among others.

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