Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Jay Velasco takes his oath as new Speaker of the House of Representatives
By Junex Doronio
LOOKS LIKE WHAT INDAY WANTS, Inday gets as presidential daughter and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio on Monday, 12 October 2020, succeeded in “installing” her friend Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Jay Velasco as new Speaker of the House of Representatives, dislodging astute politician Taguig-Pateros 1st District Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano.
In a statement, Duterte-Carpio announced that her regional party Hugpong Ng Pagbabago (HNP) “will respect the term-sharing agreement as ordered by the President last year.”
Not too long ago, in July 2018, the only daughter and reputed favorite child of the President, maneuvered the “House coup” that toppled Davao del Norte 1st District Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez from the chamber’s helm.
The first “House coup” then installed former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo as Speaker.
Political observers could not help but say that this could be the prelude to realignment of forces that would propel Duterte-Carpio to the presidency 19 months from now.
Duterte-Carpio readily admitted that Velasco sought her help on the impending vote on the speakership post.
“Congressman Velasco came to Davao City to personally meet me and discuss Hugpong Ng Pagbabago,” Duterte-Carpio said.
It is public knowledge that under the term-sharing deal that President Rodrigo Duterte brokered last year, Cayetano will lead the House of Representatives for the first 15 months of the 18th Congress or until October, while Velasco will serve for the remaining 21 months.
Her brother, Deputy Speaker Paolo “Pulong” Duterte, however, refused to take sides in the ongoing speakership row.
The younger Duterte said congressmen should vote for a Speaker who could unify all members of the lower chamber.
Cayetano’s ally Surigao del Norte 2nd District Rep. Robert Ace Barbers said the endorsement of Duterte-Carpio could effectively install Velasco and end Cayetano’s stay as Speaker.
He said the mayor’s endorsement is just like that of the President.
Velasco was formally installed as new Speaker of the House of Representatives through a remote plenary session at the Celebrity Sports Plaza in Quezon City.
He was elected House’s top leader by 186 House members.
It was Buhay Party-list Rep. Lito Atienza who raised the motion to declare the speakership post vacant and then a total of 186 lawmakers voted to accept Atienza’s motion.
The remote plenary session then swiftly proceeded to elect a new leader with 1-PACMAN party-list Rep. Mikee Romero nominating Velasco to become the next Speaker.
The nomination was followed by other representatives including Albay Rep. Joey Salceda, Oriental Mindoro Rep. Doy Leachon, Rizal Rep. Jack Duavit, Ilocos Sur Rep. Kristine Singson-Meehan, and Negros Occidental Rep. Francisco Benitez, among others.
During the same gathering, lawyer Jocelia Bighani-Sipin was elected as Secretary General and retired police Maj. Gen. Mao Aplasca was installed sergeant of arms of the House of Representatives.
Prior to this, a manifesto circulated to the media, wherein 187 lawmakers have called to assemble, declare the speakership post vacant, and elect Velasco as the House’s next top leader. (IAmigo)