By JOHN CARLO M. CAHINHINAN
Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco said he is confident that he can swiftly pursue the legislative agenda of President Rodrigo Duterte after he was recently named head of the House contingent of the ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino – Lakas ng Bayan (PDP Laban) party.
Velasco, the so-called “speaker in waiting,” said the reorganization in the ruling party was “a welcome development” to further strengthen unity and camaraderie among PDP Laban members.
“I am humbled and honored by the decision of the leadership of PDP-Laban to appoint yours truly as party head in the House of Representatives,” said Velasco.
Velasco expressed confidence that the party can push for the legislative agenda of the Duterte administration in its remaining three years with the allocation of key positions to party members in the House.
He explained that six of his party mates have been named deputy speakers, while five others have been appointed as members of the powerful House Committee on Rules—three deputy majority leaders, one assistant majority leader, and an assistant minority leader.
According to Velasco, PDP also received 19 chairmanships of key standing committees and 58 vice chairmanships as well as the heads the House delegation to the Commission on Appointments and the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal.
“For this, we are grateful to House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano for naming members of PDP-Laban to various committees and important posts in the bigger chamber, cognizant of the role of our political party as an important ally in accomplishing the Duterte administration’s plans and programs through legislation,” he said.
Despite a series of defection, PDP has remained the dominant party in the Lower House with 58 congressmen that are ready “to buckle down to work and tackle issues and legislation” that can change the nation, according to Velasco.