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Speakership race heats up: Cayetano, Romualdez, Velasco woo party-list bloc

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Three candidates for the next Speaker on Thursday sought the support of the 50-strong party-list coalition, which, should they vote as a bloc, would constitute the second largest group in the House of Representatives after the ruling PDP-Laban.

Former Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano, incoming Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez and reelected Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco each presented their plans at the general assembly of the bloc at the Marco Polo Ortigas Hotel in Pasig City.

Ako Bicol party-list Rep. Alfredo Garbin Jr. told reporters the coalition would be voting “as a bloc.”

The coalition, however, would put a “lot of weight” into whoever President Rodrigo Duterte supported, according to 1-Pacman party-list Rep. Mikee Romero.

He added that largest factor was still to pick the candidate who could be “most beneficial to our constituents.”

Former Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, another contender in the race, was absent as he was in his Davao del Norte hometown, according to members of the party-list coalition.

Former Sen. Loren Legarda, incoming Antique representative, will also be invited in a future meeting.

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