By Ben Rosario
A message accidentally sent to the Viber group of partylist congressmen has revealed the choice for speaker of 1Pacman Partylist Rep. Mikee Romero even as the partylist organization – the second largest political group in the House of Representatives – has yet to vote on its choice for the top congressional post.
However, Romero neither denied nor confirmed he was rooting for a particular candidate for Speaker, saying he can only guarantee his “one vote” for his personal choice.
Partial transcript of the radio interview of Anakalusugan parytlist first nominee Michael Defensor was distributed to House reporters, allegedly by the camp of another candidate for Speaker Friday.
In the said interview, Defensor disclosed Romero mistakenly posted a Viber message indicating his choice for Speaker is Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco.
“Sabi ni Cong. Mikee ‘send this to Lord so malaman niya sino ang mga kalaban natin,” Defensor said referring to the Viber message.
Defensor said Romero quickly deleted the message but not before it was already read by at least five or ten members of the Viber group of the party-list coalition which has 54 members.
The former Quezon City congressman admitted though that Romero’s Viber message could have been “intended” for another Viber group.
According to Defensor, partylist congressmen have their individual preference for speaker although Romero may have accidentally disclosed his.
Reacting to the incident, Romero backed Defensor’s statement that PCFI members may have their own preference.
“My personal preference is just one vote. After we do the process and select a speaker aspirant, even if I am in the losing side, I will abide by the vote for what the majority of our members will go with,” the PCFI head stressed.
According to Romero, the PCFI will choose only one candidate for speaker.
“This is the essence of our own democratic process,” he explained. “In the end, we shall still vote as one despite all the differences in our preferences,” Romero added.
The PCFI is expectedly to vote for their nominee on Wednesday in a Metro Manila hotel.
The organization has interviewed four of five contenders to the Speakership post. They are PDP-Laban bets Reps. Lord Alan Velasco of Marinduque and Aurelio Gonzales of Pampanga; Nacionalista Party Representative-elect Alan Cayetano and incoming Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez, representing Lakas.