Philippines: PDP-Laban fails to pick bet for speaker

  • The ruling PDP-Laban has failed to choose its candidate for speaker of the House of Representatives in the incoming 18th Congress, which convenes on 22 Jul 19.
  • The administration party’s three speakership aspirants – reelected Reps. Lord Allan Velasco of Marinduque, Aurelio Gonzales Jr. of Pampanga and Pantaleon Alvarez of Davao del Norte – met on 11 Jun 19 night but could not agree on who among them would be the candidate for the top House post. Pacquiao and party president Sen. Aquilino Pimentel III served as mediators.
  • A PDP-Laban member said Pacquiao, Pimentel, Gonzales, Velasco and Alvarez agreed that the next speaker should come from PDP-Laban, “since it is the party of President Duterte.”
  • A source said the ruling party would try to get Duterte to choose who among Velasco, Gonzales and Alvarez would be the PDP-Laban candidate for speaker.
  • He added that Pimentel and the three speakership aspirants asked Pacquiao to meet with the President soon “to get a sense of his preference.”
  • It is not clear what the party would do if Duterte sticks to his word that he would not meddle in the election of the top official of the House.
  • His daughter Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, who, according to the President, “maneuvered” Alvarez’s ouster as speaker in Jul 18, has made a similar commitment.
  • Alvarez told The STAR on 12 Jun 19 it will ultimately be the choice of President Duterte that will prevail in the rivalry over the post of speaker.

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