Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco said he was “deeply humbled and honored” by the endorsement of the ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) as the next Speaker of the House of Representatives.
“If elected speaker of the 18th Congress as representative of the single most dominant party in Congress and the political party of President Rodrigo Duterte, I assure them that I will remain a consultative and a listening leader, who welcomes his fellow lawmakers regardless of their political colors and affiliations,” Velasco said.
PDP-Laban, through Sen. Manny Pacquiao, officially announced Velasco as its candidate for the speakership despite some factions supporting either incoming Reps. Alan Peter Cayetano of Taguig or Martin Romualdez of Leyte.
In a statement, Velasco, who is close to the Duterte family, said he was floored by the support.
“The trust and confidence of my party-mates in my leadership to steer the next Congress and commitment to support us will inspire me to work harder in bringing about meaningful changes and the much-needed unity to the bigger chamber,” he said.
“More importantly, however, their support will inspire us to focus on crucial pieces of legislation that we need to pass in order to sustain the achievements of the Duterte Administration, surpass the economic growth of the country and provide better social services to the people. I am confident that together we can achieve these,” Velasco said.
Some PDP Laban stalwarts are said to be supporting the camps of Romualdez or Cayetano.
Albay Rep. Joey Salceda, a PDP Laban member, said he and others were for Romualdez.
Cayetano, on the other hand, said he had secured the support of key PDP Laban members, including Ronnie Zamora of San Juan and Boyet Gonzales of Mandaluyong.