Barely a month into his term, is House Speaker Lord Allan Jay Velasco making a list of lawmakers loyal to him and checking it twice?

Loyalty check? Velasco meets with party leaders amid coup rumors

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Barely a month into his term, is House Speaker Lord Allan Jay Velasco making a list of lawmakers loyal to him and checking it twice?

Velasco met with leaders of major political parties and blocs Friday (November 20), a move seen as loyalty check among members of the 275-member strong supermajority.

Present in the meeting at the House of Representatives were leaders of the ruling PDP-Laban, Nacionalista Party, Liberal Party, National Unity Party Nationalist People’s Coalition and the Party-List Coalition.

Velasco held the meeting amid rumors he might be replaced as Speaker by Majority Leader Martin Romualdez. Quoting sources, broadcaster Deo Macalma earlier said a number of lawmakers were unimpressed by Velasco’s lackluster leadership and would prefer to have a more experienced politiko lead the House.

Velasco assumed the speakership last October in a controversial power struggle that saw the ouster of Taguig Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano as Speaker.

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For buses’ benefit: 300K liters of fuel smuggled weekly from Bataan to NCR

By Nancy Carvajal

At least 300,000 liters of fuel is smuggled weekly from a shipyard in Mariveles, Bataan to garages of various bus companies in Metro Manila and nearby provinces, persons involved in transporting the product told the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).

NBI Special Unit Action agent Melvin Escurel said individuals they have talked to claimed to be clueless about the smuggling of fuel.

“A witness said they just received instructions from ‘Jerome’ and ‘Eric’ to proceed to the Seafront Shipyard and wait for the barge that would fill up their tanker,’’ Escurel said.

Using a long hose, diesel is loaded into the tankers inside the shipyard from a barge anchored about 500 meters away from the dock.

The tankers are filled with fuel at least three times a week. They travel to the shipyard from a garage in Pasay City.

Escurel said four to five tankers deliver the fuel to the garages of various bus lines. One tanker, meanwhile, heads to Fairview, Quezon City to fill up a supposedly abandoned tanker.

Based on witnesses’ testimonies, Escurel said the fuel smuggling scheme involving the Bataan shipyard appears to be well organized.

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