By Charissa Luci-Atienza
With majority of House members rejecting the sharing of term for House Speaker, Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco said he shared the sentiments of his colleagues that the proposed term sharing would only “weaken” the Speakership, and delay the passage of President Duterte’s priority measures.
The Speakership candidate also clarified that he did not broach the proposed term sharing as claimed by incoming Taguig-Pateros Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano.
“After a series of consultations with members of the House of Representatives, majority of them have expressed strong objection to the term-sharing proposal floated by some quarters,” he said in a statement.
Cayetano, who served as Secretary of Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), earlier disclosed that it was the camp of Velasco which “proposed term sharing: during their last month’s trip to Japan with President Duterte and other contenders in the Speakership race.
The former senator said he already told President Duterte that he agreed with the term sharing and amenable to share the term with Velasco.
“Majority of our lawmakers rejected the idea because they strongly feel that it will only weaken the Speakership, disrupt the flow of legislative work and more importantly, derail key measures that we are mandated to carry forward,” Velasco said.
“I share the sentiments of my colleagues in Congress and I am inclined to take their advice,” he said.
Other Speaker wannabes include incoming Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez and former Speaker and reelected Davao del Norte Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez.
During a social gathering in Malacañang Palace last week, President Duterte asked neophyte lawmakers to wait until June 28 for his announcement about his possible Speaker bet.
AKO Bicol party-list Rep. Alfredo Garbin earlier said the President initially told them that he would make the announcement 72 hours before his fourth State of the Nation Address (SONA) on July 22, and changed his mind and settled on June 28.
The dinner, attended by more than 100 lawmakers, was organized by presidential son and Davao City Representative-elect Paolo “Pulong” Duterte to acquaint himself with fellow neophyte lawmakers in the coming 18th Congress.