And just like that, the fight is over.

Some 186 congressmen ratified on the House plenary floor shortly before noon Tuesday, Oct. 13, the election of Marinduque lone district Rep. Lord Allan Velasco as the new Speaker.

VELASCO - Fight is over, House ratifies Lord’s election as Speaker
Marinduque lone district Rep. Lord Allan Velasco (FACEBOOK / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

The ratification, announced by presiding officer, Deputy Speaker and ABONO Party-List Rep. Conrado Estrella III, finalized the ouster of Taguig-Pateros lone district Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano the previous day at Celebrity Sports Plaza when the same number of solons declared the Speaker’s seat vacant. 

They subsequently elected the 42-year-old Velasco to the fourth highest position in the land at the Quezon City country club.

On Tuesday, Velasco was able to address the plenary as Speaker, his rival Cayetano finally vanquished.

Acting as Majority Leader in the morning session, Pampanga 4th district Rep. Rimpy Bondoc, clarified to Velasco that more than 186 of their colleagues had wanted to vote for him Monday. However, some solons couldn’t do so because of the difficulties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“More than 200 congressmen have sent in their votes for you,” Bondoc said, adding that Velasco now clearly leads the majority in the 299-strong chamber.

Velasco and Cayetano had a term-sharing agreement for the Speakership in the 18th Congress. Under the gentleman’s agreement that was brokered by no less than President Duterte, Velasco would take over the leadership after Cayetano’s 15th month as Speaker.

Things turned ugly as the supposed transfer of power drew near, with both solons splitting hairs as to what the exact date of turnover should be. 

Along the way, Cayetano called Velasco an absentee solon who wasn’t knowledgeable about the budget; Velasco, on the other hand, continuously assailed Cayetano for his attempts to dishonor the term-sharing pact.

In his speech, Velasco raised the matter of “palabra de honor” or word of honor in an obvious jab at his rival. He said that the “turmoil” in the House the past few weeks resulted “from the abject refusal to honor that agreement.”

“A rejection of the agreement is a rejection of ‘palabra de honor’, and likewise a rejection of Mayor-President Duterte himself,” the new Speaker claimed. Velasco is a member of Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban), the party chaired by the Chief Executive.

“Let us be good examples of ‘palabra de honor’ and demonstrate that our word is our bond,” said the Marinduque congresman, who also vowed “to restore a sense of statesmanship in the House.”

Representatives of various political parties and regional blocs subsequently delivered messages of support to Velasco.

The session was suspended shortly after this as Velasco had to rush to a scheduled meeting at Malacañang with President Duterte and Cayetano.

Fight is over, House ratifies 

Lord’s election as Speaker

By Ellson A. Quismorio

And just like that, the fight is over.

Some 186 congressmen ratified on the House plenary floor shortly before noon Tuesday, Oct. 13, the election of Marinduque lone district Rep. Lord Allan Velasco as the new Speaker.

The ratification, announced by presiding officer, Deputy Speaker and ABONO Party-List Rep. Conrado Estrella III, finalized the ouster of Taguig-Pateros lone district Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano the previous day at Celebrity Sports Plaza when the same number of solons declared the Speaker’s seat vacant. 

They subsequently elected the 42-year-old Velasco to the fourth highest position in the land at the Quezon City country club.

On Tuesday, Velasco was able to address the plenary as Speaker, his rival Cayetano finally vanquished.

Acting as Majority Leader in the morning session, Pampanga 4th district Rep. Rimpy Bondoc, clarified to Velasco that more than 186 of their colleagues had wanted to vote for him Monday. However, some solons couldn’t do so because of the difficulties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“More than 200 congressmen have sent in their votes for you,” Bondoc said, adding that Velasco now clearly leads the majority in the 299-strong chamber.

Velasco and Cayetano had a term-sharing agreement for the Speakership in the 18th Congress. Under the gentleman’s agreement that was brokered by no less than President Duterte, Velasco would take over the leadership after Cayetano’s 15th month as Speaker.

Things turned ugly as the supposed transfer of power drew near, with both solons splitting hairs as to what the exact date of turnover should be. 

Along the way, Cayetano called Velasco an absentee solon who wasn’t knowledgeable about the budget; Velasco, on the other hand, continuously assailed Cayetano for his attempts to dishonor the term-sharing pact.

In his speech, Velasco raised the matter of “palabra de honor” or word of honor in an obvious jab at his rival. He said that the “turmoil” in the House the past few weeks resulted “from the abject refusal to honor that agreement.”

“A rejection of the agreement is a rejection of ‘palabra de honor’, and likewise a rejection of Mayor-President Duterte himself,” the new Speaker claimed. Velasco is a member of Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban), the party chaired by the Chief Executive.

“Let us be good examples of ‘palabra de honor’ and demonstrate that our word is our bond,” said the Marinduque congresman, who also vowed “to restore a sense of statesmanship in the House.”

Representatives of various political parties and regional blocs subsequently delivered messages of support to Velasco.

The session was suspended shortly after this as Velasco had to rush to a scheduled meeting at Malacañang with President Duterte and Cayetano.

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