House of Representatives

It’s official: Lord Allan Velasco is new Speaker of the House

Mara Cepeda
It’s official: Lord Allan Velasco is new Speaker of the House

Allies of Congressman Lord Aln Velasco hold a session inside the conference hall of the Celebrity Sports Plaza in QC onaAllies of Congressman Lord Allan Velasco hold a session inside the conference hall of the Celebrity Sports Plaza in QC on October 12, 2020, to unseat Speaker Cayetano and replace him with Velasco. October 12, 2020, to unseat Speaker Cayetano and replace him with Velasco.

Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

(UPDATED) Lawmakers oust Alan Peter Cayetano as Speaker of the House of Representatives
It’s official: Lord Allan Velasco is new Speaker of the House

Lord Allan Velasco of Marinduque is now the Speaker of the House. 

On Tuesday, October 13, Velasco and his allies were finally able to step foot inside the Batasang Pambansa’s plenary hall for the first time since they held an unprecedented remote session to elect Velasco as their new leader. 

A total of 186 lawmakers voted to ratify Velasco’s election as Speaker during the plenary proceedings, the same number of legislators who voted to elect him as Speaker the day before. 

The vote took place less than an hour before President Rodrigo Duterte’s scheduled 12:30 pm meeting with Velasco and Cayetano on Tuesday.

In his acceptance speech, Velasco blamed Cayetano for the “unnecessary turmoil” in the House due to the latter’s refusal to honor a term-sharing deal brokered by Duterte.

“The interest of our people, especially at this time of the COVID-19 pandemic and the concomitant crisis it has brought, is being sacrificed at the altar of personal greed and political ambition,” Velasco said.

“Our people cannot wait and they do not deserve to wait even more because someone’s political plans are now in peril,” the new Speaker added.

It’s official: Lord Allan Velasco is new Speaker of the House

This vote – conducted publicly and inside the plenary hall – officially puts into the House records Velasco’s dramatic takeover as Speaker.

It would also put to rest doubts about the validity of the Marinduque congressman’s election to the post.

While lawmakers gathered in the House, Cayetano tendered his “irrevocable resignation” as House speaker through a Facebook Live video. Cayetano “resigned” around 10 minutes after lawmakers ousted him and proclaimed Velasco as the new House leader.

Cayetano announced his resignation at around 11:52 am on Tuesday. Velasco was proclaimed new House speaker around 11:43 am.

It’s official: Lord Allan Velasco is new Speaker of the House

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– with reports from JC Gotinga/Rappler.com

Mara Cepeda

Mara Cepeda specializes in stories about politics and local governance. She covers the Office of the Vice President, the Senate, and the Philippine opposition. She is a 2021 fellow of the Asia Journalism Fellowship and the Reham al-Farra Memorial Journalism Fellowship of the UN. Got tips? Email her at mara.cepeda@rappler.com or tweet @maracepeda.