Romualdez, Cayetano out: Koko says next Speaker must be from PDP-Laban
The next House Speaker must come from PDP-Laban, President Rodrigo Duterte’s party, said Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III.
Pimentel stressed the importance of choosing a Speaker from the ruling party Wednesday (June 12) following his meeting with the candidates shortlisted by PDP-Laban for the post: Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Jay Velasco, Davao Del Norte Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez and Pampanga Rep. Dong Gonzales.
The meeting was held Tuesday (June 11) at the residence of Senator Manny Pacquiao.
“The PDP-Laban, the party of President Duterte, is the biggest bloc in Congress with more than 94 representatives on top of the party-list congressmen allied with us and therefore it is imperative that the Speaker should come from PDP-Laban,” Pimentel, the party president, said.
Pimentel said the PDP-Laban will unite behind a single nominee, who will be chosen among Velasco, Alvarez and Gonzales.
He said Pacquiao will announce PDP-Laban’s candidate for Speaker, though no date was mentioned.
The Speaker will be elected when the 18th Congress starts on July 22.
Other politikos who have joined the speakership race are Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez and Taguig Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano.
Romualdez, a stalwart of Lakas-CMD, is close to incumbent House Speaker and former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, while Cayetano was Duterte’s running mate in the 2016 elections.