House Speaker Lord Allan Jay Velasco is reportedly planning to oust Leyte Rep. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez as Majority Leader, Politiko has learned.
Sources told Politiko that the writing is on the wall for Romualdez after Velasco removed two of his Lakas-CMD party mates as House leaders.
Velasco is reportedly eyeing either Deputy Speaker Mikee Romero or Deputy Majority Leader Rimpy Bondoc to take over Romualdez’s post.
The Speaker’s plan to oust Romualdez is said to be the reason he flew to Davao City this week.
Politiko’s source said Velasco wanted to seek “clearance” for his plan from Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, a major power broker in the House.
A Facebook post shared by Davao City Information Officer Jeffrey Tupas on Friday (March 12) showed Velasco and his wife having dinner with Sara.
The House leadership reshuffle under Velasco continued on March 10 with Zamboanga Sibugay Rep. Wilter “Sharky” Palma losing his post as Deputy Majority Leader. He was replaced by Iloilo Rep. Lorenz Defensor.
Another Lakas-CMD stalwart, Quezon City Rep. Anthony Peter “Onyx” Crisologo, was also replaced by Palawan Representative Gil Acosta as Assistant Majority Leader.
Crisologo was instead named as vice chairperson of the Committee of Games and Amusements, while Palma chosen to become a vice chairman of the Committee on Legislative Franchises, replacing Anakalusugan party-list Rep. Mike Defensor.
Even with “clearance” from Duterte, sources said Velasco’s plan to remove Romualdez could backfire as Lakas-CMD has become a formidable force in the House.
From having only 35 members in early 2020, the party’s membership has grown to 50 after some lawmakers from National Unity Party and Nacionalista Party jumped ship following the contentious speakership fight between Velasco and Taguig-Pateros Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano.
“Velasco’s plan to remove Romualdez could trigger another election for Speaker,” a source said.
Lakas-CMD provided the crucial swing vote to help Velasco unseat Cayetano as Speaker in October last year. Party stalwarts supported the Marinduque lawmaker after Duterte endorsed him as Speaker.