PDP-Laban endorses Velasco as House Speaker bet

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 26, 2019   •   1026

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 formally elected as House Speaker, vows to ‘do what is right’

Robie de Guzman   •   July 22, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Members of the House of Representatives have formally elected Taguig-Pateros Representative Alan Peter Cayetano as their next leader when the regular session of the 18th Congress opened on Monday (July 22).

With a vote of 266, Cayetano defeated his lone opponent for Speaker, Manila Representative Bienvenido “Benny” Abante who only received 28 votes.

Two solons abstained while one voted “no” to either nominations.

During the election, Cayetano was nominated by his former speakership rivals, Marinduque Representative Lord Allan Velasco, Leyte Representative Martin Romualdez and Davao City Representative Paolo Duterte.

Abante was nominated by Iloilo Representative Janet Garin and AKO BICOL party-list Representative Alfredo Garbin.

President Rodrigo Duterte earlier endorsed Cayetano’s bid for speakership, who will share the term with Velasco. The president proposed that Cayetano lead the House for 15 months and be succeeded by Velasco for the remaining 21 months.

Cayetano vowed to uphold the term-sharing agreement.

“Sana po ako’y maging worthy at sana po ay tulungan niyo ako para sa loob ng 15 na buwan ay mapagsilbihan po natin ang ating mga kababayang Mabuti,” he said in his speech after his election.

(I hope to be worthy and I hope you will help me during the 15 months to serve our people well.)

The newly-elected speaker also assured that the House of Representatives, under his helm, will be a partner of the Duterte administration.

“The House of Representatives, the House of the People are partners with the Duterte administration,” he said.

“We are partners in pursuing a better life for all Filipinos, whether we talk about teachers, about senior citizens, about young people, OFWs, professionals, our teachers, government workers, workers in the private sectors, or out-of-school youth, rich or poor, young or old, of whatever persuasion, of whatever religion, we are all connected and united,” he elaborated.

Aside from his assurance to remain as the Duterte administration’s ally, Cayetano also called on House members to unite and to do what is right.

“Tayo po ang takbuhan ng sambayanan. We will do what is right, so that we will have a Congress that is relevant, responsive and reliable… United and we commit to God, our people the work of the 18th Congress,” he said.

Still in line with the president’s endorsement, Romualdez was elected on Monday as House Majority Leader.

Meanwhile, Presidential son, Paolo was elected as one of the 11 deputy speakers of the House of Representatives along with Representatives Ferdinand Hernandez, Evelina Escudero, Loren Legarda, Conrad Estrella III, Prospero Pichay Jr., Roberto Puno, Eduardo Villanueva, Aurelio Gonzales Jr., Johnny Pimentel and Luis Raymond Villafuerte.

Davao City 3rd District Representative Isidro Ungab was elected as chairman of the House Committee on Appropriations while Cavite Representative Abraham Tolentino was voted as chairman of the Committee on Accounts.

The lower House also elected Jose Luis Montales as Secretary General and Retired Gen. Ramon Apolinario as Sergeant-at-Arms.

The election for Speakership inside the House Plenary hall this year did not have any ruckus compared to last year after House members ousted then-speaker, Davao del Norte Representative Pantaleon Alvarez and replaced him with then-Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. Last year’s Speakership squabble delayed Duterte’s third State of the Nation Address by an hour.

Palace: Pacquiao embodies Filipino spirit

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 21, 2019

Philippine boxing legend, Manny ‘Pacman’ Pacquiao | Courtesy: Reuters

Malacañang congratulates Senator Manny ‘Pacman’ Pacquiao for defending his WBA welterweight belt against Keith Thurman on Sunday (July 21).

In a statement, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said Pacquiao made the whole country proud. Pacquiao won in a split decision and knocked down Thurman in the first round.

“Pacquiao’s victory is not only his, but of the entire nation. As such, the Palace is one in rejoicing with the Filipino people as the Pambansang Kamao once again puts the flag above the pedestal with his display of tenacity and courage,” he said.

Meanwhile other lawmakers have sent their congratulations to the Pambansang Kamao.

The Philippine National Police (PNP) also joins the Filipino people in celebrating Pacquiao’s victory.

“We share the triumph of our People’s Champ with every Filipino who cheered and pray for this latest honor for the country,” according to their statement. “Senator Pacquiao not only brought honor and glory to the country but also inspired many Filipinos to excel in their work.”—AAC (With reports from Lea Ylagan, Rosalie Coz, Harlene Delgado, Grace Casin)

Speakership bets Cayetano, Romualdez, Velasco meet with PDP-Laban

Robie de Guzman   •   July 12, 2019

(L-R) Marinduque Representative Lord Allan Velasco , Taguig-Pateros Representative Alan Peter Cayetano, and Leyte Representative Martin Romualdez | Courtesy: Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano

MANILA, Philippines – Three lawmakers gunning for the speakership of the House of Representatives of the 18th Congress met on Thursday night with some members of the ruling party, PDP-Laban.

Taguig-Pateros Representative Alan Peter Cayetano, Marinduque Representative Lord Allan Velasco and Leyte Representative Martin Romualdez met with PDP-Laban in Taguig to discuss the forthcoming opening of the 18th Congress and the measures that need to be prioritized.

Cayetano also talked about his programs that will help the Duterte administration’s legislative agenda, as well as his plan to push for full debates on significant issues that will affect the welfare of the Filipino people.

They also discussed the term-sharing set-up between Cayetano and Velasco as House speakers endorsed by the party’s chairman, President Rodrigo Duterte.

READ: Duterte: Cayetano, Velasco to share term as House Speaker

PDP-Laban president, Senator Aquilino ‘Koko’ Pimentel earlier said Cayetano still needs to work on getting the speakership post despite Duterte’s endorsement.

READ: Cayetano has to work for House speakership – Koko Pimentel

He added that Cayetano still has to convince House members to vote for him, including the 85 solons belonging to the ruling party.

Prior to the president’s endorsement of the speakership term-sharing scheme, the PDP-Laban fielded Velasco as its bet for the post.  

Cayetano is a member of the Nacionalista party while Velasco is a PDP-Laban member while Romualdez is with Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats.

Romualdez earlier said he dropped from the speakership race and accepted the House Majority Leader job as suggested by the president. (with details from Grace Casin)

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