PDP-Laban open to term-sharing but Velasco should be Speaker first

MANILA, Philippines – The ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) said on Wednesday, July 3, that it was open to a term-sharing  scheme for Speaker, provided that its candidate, Marinduque Representative Lord Allan Velasco, assumes the top House post first.


Senator Aquilino Pimentel III, PDP-Laban president, made the statement after Davao City 1st District Representative Paolo Duterte threw his hat into the speakership race, and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte fielded Davao City 3rd District Representative Isidro Ungab as Hugpong ng Pagbabago's candidate for Speaker. 

"To help settle the issue of House Speaker which has been dragging for a considerable period of time, the PDP-Laban which is the majority party is open to the idea of term-sharing, provided its nominee [Congressman] Lord Allan Velasco goes first since he already has an overwhelming number of members of Congress supporting him," Pimentel said.

At least 60 PDP-Laban lawmakers signed a manifesto confirming their support for Velasco, along with around 211 lawmakers from other parties.

President Rodrigo Duterte greenlighted the term sharing between Velasco and Taguig-Pateros Representative Alan Peter Cayetano when he met with Speaker aspirants during a recent trip in Japan.

Velasco later backed out of a term-sharing scheme, saying this would weaken the speakership itself and hamper the work at the House. Another aspirant for the speakership, Leyte congressman Martin Romualdez, had also thumbed down a term-sharing scheme, for the same reasons.

Before Wednesday, the only aspirant keen on seeing through the Duterte-brokered scheme was Cayetano.

Duterte had refused to endorse a candidate for Speaker, saying he wanted the House to choose its own leader.

The other aspirant in the speakership race is Davao del Norte 1st District Representative Pantaleon Alvarez

The House will elect its new Speaker on July 22. – Rappler.com

Aika Rey

Aika Rey is a business reporter for Rappler. She covered the Senate of the Philippines before fully diving into numbers and companies. Got tips? Find her on Twitter at @reyaika or shoot her an email at aika.rey@rappler.com.