CAYETANO, VELASCO TO SHARE TERM AS HOUSE SPEAKER

speaker aspirants
SPEAKER RACE. President Rodrigo Duterte shars a table with Speaker aspirants during the HNP Thanksgiving Dinner. Malacañang file photo

President Rodrigo Duterte said Allan Peter Cayetano will be the Speaker of the 18th Congress.

Cayetano will share terms with  Lord Velasco,” said Duterte on Monday, July 8, during the oath-taking of new presidential appointees.

He also announced that Leyte 1st District Representative Martin Romualdez will become House Majority Floor Leader.

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President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday announced that he will be endorsing Taguig Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano and Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco as next speakers of the House of Representatives under a term-sharing agreement.

Duterte said Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez, who has also vied for the House Speaker post, would be the next Majority Leader in the lower chamber.

“Your speaker will be Alan Peter Cayetano. Ang sharing dito is (The sharing here is) he shares the term with Lord Velasco,” Duterte said during the oath-taking ceremony of new government appointees.

“And si Romualdez will be Majority Floor Leader,” he added.

In a statement, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo later clarified that Cayetano will serve as Speaker in the first 15 months while Velasco will be Speaker during the next 21 months.

Panelo said Cayetano, Velasco, and Romualdez also sought the assistance and help of the President to settle the conflict among them.

“Since the election of the Speaker has resulted in a bitter and fractious rivalry that threatens the break-up of political allies, the President, to save the unity of the alliance and avert its fragmentation, obliged to the request of the three candidates, who to their credit agree to respect the choice of PRRD,” Panelo said.

Earlier, Panelo said the President will not “meddle” on the selection of the next House Speaker since most of the contenders for House Speaker are his allies and might cause unnecessary conflict among them. (PNA)

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