Nacionalista Party (NP) member Rep. Robert Ace Barbers of Surigao del Norte thinks House Speaker Lord Allan Velasco shares common qualities with his predecessor Alan Peter Cayetano.

barbers - Velasco has high standards like Cayetano – Barbers
Surigao del Norte Rep. Robert Ace Barbers
(Surigao del Norte Rep. Robert Ace Barbers’ Office / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

According to Barbers, the two Speakers in the 18th Congress are both relatively young and have imposed upon themselves the responsibility of ensuring that the House performs on a high level.

“The new leadership (of Velasco) espouses the same quality standards (as Cayetano),” said the Mindanao solon who is the longtime chairman of the House Committee on Dangerous Drugs.

Barbers described the 42-year-old Speaker Velasco as “young and vibrant.” He added: “I am certain that he will meet the high standards set by Speaker Cayetano and it will become a regular rating henceforth.”

Barbers is a party-mate of the 49-year-old Cayetano, who served as House of Representatives head honcho from July 22, 2019 to Oct. 13, 2020. Taguig-Pateros Rep. Cayetano and Marinduque Rep. Velasco had a term-sharing agreement for the Speakership, brokered by no less than President Duterte.

The NP last week extended its hand of cooperation to Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) stalwart Velasco.

“The party nevertheless extends its collaborative hand to the new House leadership and vows to work closely with their team to ensure the success of the President’s legislative and economic agenda,” Las Piñas City Rep. Camille Villar said in a statement.

Rep. Villar is the daughter of NP president and business tycoon Manny Villar. The elder Villar is also a former Speaker.

Looking back on Cayetano’s 15-month tenure as top House leader, Barbers said he “passed with flying colors because all priority legislation of the President was approved during his incumbency as Speaker.”

This even included a controversial measure in the Anti-Terror Law, he noted.

“All economic stimulus bills were also passed and the manifestation of his (Cayetano) good showing is the high acceptance and trust ratings of the institution,” Barbers said.

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