By Ben Rosario
Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco on Saturday vowed to stop the bleeding in the ranks of the dominant PDP-Laban in the House of Representatives following his election as head of the party in the legislative chamber.
Velasco was given the appointment a few weeks after the PDP-Laban was rocked by defection leaving the president’s party only 69 out of the 84 who ran and won as party members during the recent May polls.
“This fresh step by the party leadership is a welcome development, as this will further strengthen unity and camaraderie among PDP-Laban members,” said Velasco.
Senior party leaders in the chamber have aired confidence that under Velasco’s leadership, the PDP-Laban will regain strength since the senior administration solon is expected to take over as speaker when current Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano relinquishes the post in 15 months.
Interviewed by reporters during a recent PDP-Laban gathering, Mindoro Oriental Rep. Salvador Leachon said that with Velasco as speaker, non-members and former members are expected to join the party.
Velasco, chairman of the House Committee on Energy, will be one of two PDP-Laban top men in Congress. Senator Manny Pacquiao has been elected head of the Senate contingent.
“With 69 members of PDP-Laban in the House, this new setup will ensure that we move in one direction in taking a party stand on vital issues, but more importantly in supporting the legislative agenda to improve the lives of the Filipino people,” Velasco said in a statement issued Saturday.