Rep. Mike Defensor of Anakalusugan party-list
By Junex Doronio
MANILA — It seems the activist in was jolted when he minced no words in denouncing the leadership of House Speaker Lord Allan Jay Velasco after the latter sacked one of the once popular “Spice Boys” as chairman of the Public Accounts committee at the Lower Chamber.
“It is important that we as the House of Representatives protect the Filipino people’s trust in us as their elected officials. However, Speaker [Lord Allan] Velasco’s leadership is causing distrust of the Congress among Filipinos,” Defensor fumed.
House insiders who requested anonymity on late Thursday viewed Velasco’s move as a “political vendetta” since Defensor played a key role in former Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano’s attempt to hold on to the chamber’s top post.
It can be recalled that Defensor had vowed to make an objection should there be a motion to declare the Speaker Cayetano’s post vacant last October 14.
Probinsiyano Ako Rep. Jose Bonito Singson was handpicked by Velasco to replace Defensor.
“These actions show arrogance and unprofessionalism from Speaker Velasco and cause citizens to doubt his ability to lead the House at a time when we need unity,” Defensor cried.
Defensor said he expected Velasco to give him “proper notice” before sacking him out of the Public Accounts committee chairmanship.
Since late November, the House of Representatives was abuzz with rumors of a coup against Velasco after he removed a number of Cayetano’s allies from leadership posts.
Last November 19, Cayetano had hinted that Velasco’s move might cause disgruntlement among lawmakers as he reminded his rival about his promise to President Rodrigo Roa Duterte about keeping the status quo in the House when he becomes Speaker.
Velasco is a protege of presidential daughter and Davao City Sara Duterte-Carpio who was also believed to be behind the ouster of Davao del Norte Rep. Pantaleon “Bebot” Alvarez as House Speaker in 2018.
Cayetano claimed that under the term-sharing agreement for the speakership, only the position of accounts committee chairman will be changed when Velasco succeeds Cayetano. (AI/MTVN)