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2 PDP Speaker bets hold meeting with Pimentel

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By JOHN CARLO M. CAHINHINAN

Two of the three contenders for the House leadership from the ruling PDP Laban on Thursday held another round meeting with its party president, reelected Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III.

In a Facebook post by Pimentel’s aide Ronwald Munsayac, Pimentel appeared to have a private meeting with two of the ruling party’s Speaker-wannabes namely reelected Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco and reelected Pampanga Rep. Aurelio “Dong” Gonzales.

No further details were given by Munsayac about the meeting.

Last Tuesday, PDP Laban reportedly still failed to reach a consensus over the issue of fielding only a one candidate for the House leadership next month despite a close-door conference held inside Senator Manny Pacquiao’s residence in Dasmariñas Village.

The said meeting was graced by the three Speaker-wannabes namely Velasco, Gonzales, and former House Speaker Pantaleon “Bebot” Alvarez together with party’s top honchos which include Pimentel and Pacquiao.

Pimentel last Wednesday delegated Pacquiao the task and responsibility of announcing the ruling party’s official nominee for the Speakership but the eight-division boxing champion who served as the overall campaign manager PDP Laban during the midterm polls will reportedly seek the advice of President Rodrigo Duterte, chairman of PDP Laban on who they will choose among their party mates to lead the 304-man House of Representatives this coming 18th Congress.

Palace Spokesperson Salvador Panelo on Thursday reiterated that the chief executive would not meddle in the selection of the next House Speaker.

“The President will not interfere. He never endorsed,” said Panelo.

Panelo advised the party leadership and its members to choose their preferred bet for the House leadership through “secret balloting.”

“I think, the PDP should—what they should do is to have a secret balloting and get the sentiments of the members. And who gets the highest, di iyon ang ano ang magiging manok nila,” Panelo stressed.

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