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Legarda leaves speakership race to four other contestants

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By Mario Casayuran

Outgoing Senator Loren Legarda said Thursday that the speakership at the House of Representatives has never been in her radar.

Senator Loren Legarda (Facebook / MANILA BULLETIN)

Senator Loren Legarda
(FACEBOOK / MANILA BULLETIN)

Legarda, however, said she knows she could do the job at the Bigger House but is leaving the race for speakership to any of the four contestants who have their own competencies.

‘’Do I want the job? Not necessarily. I will enter the Bigger House and help to the best of my capacity. It will give it my best, help my province (Antique),’’ she told Senate reporters during the regular weekly ‘’Kapihan sa Senado.’’

‘’I have not made any effort [to] aspire for the speakership as there are many candidates,’’ she said.

She said she would soon discuss House issues with the leadership of her Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) party.

On reports that the race for the speakership involves the giving of P500,000 to P1 million to each congressman, Legarda said she believes that government posts should not be for sale.

There are at present four candidates for the speakership.

‘’I know all of them, They are competent,’’ Legarda said.

Members of the Bigger House, along with the Senate, elect the Speaker before both legislative chambers meet in joint session to hear the President deliver his State of the Nation Address (SONA).

The four bets for the speakership are former House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, former Senator and Taguig Representative-elect Alan Peter S. Cayetano, Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez, and Marinduque Representative-elect Lord Alan Velasco.

Alvarez had claimed that P500,000 tp P1 million is being offered to each congressman.

‘’it is sad, it should not happen,’’ Alvarez said.

Legarda will officially leave the Senate on June 30 for her new post as congresswoman of Antique on July 1. She held three six-year terms since she entered the Upper house in 1988 then being the youngest at the age of 38.

She cited a long list of accomplishments, including her authorship of 17 laws that covered varied issues such as climate change, environmental protection and education.

At present, Legarda is chairwoman of the Senate finance, climate change and foreign relations committees.

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