SONA 2021

Pacquiao ally Mikee Romero presides over House ahead of SONA 2021

Rambo Talabong

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Pacquiao ally Mikee Romero presides over  House ahead of SONA 2021

HOUSE LEADER. 1-PACMAN Representative Mikee Romero presides over the reopening of session of the House of Representatives July 26, 2021.

Screen shot of House of Representatives video

Infighting at the ruling PDP-Laban, so far, has not affected House leaders who are allied with ousted party president Senator Manny Pacquiao

Deputy Speaker and 1-PACMAN Representative Mikee Romero, a staunch ally of both Speaker Lord Allan Velasco and embattled Senator Manny Pacquiao, presided over the opening of the House of Representatives on Monday, July 26.

Romero’s role in the ceremonially important opening session comes over a week after House members of the PDP-Laban, including Velasco, supported the faction of Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi in booting out Pacquaio as party president.


LIVESTREAM: Opening of House session ahead of SONA 2021

LIVESTREAM: Opening of House session ahead of SONA 2021

As allies of both Velasco and Pacquiao, Romero finds himself caught in the crossfire of infighting at the PDP-Laban, prompting observers to wonder if the ruling party’s internal strife would spill over to the House and affect Pacquiao-allied members with leadership positions.

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Monday’s opening session, however, showed that was not happening – yet. Romero was also key to the rise of Velasco as top House leader, as he gathered the support of over 50 party-list lawmakers to back Velasco’s battle against then-speaker Alan Peter Cayetano.

After opening the session, Velasco took over the podium from Romero.
For the last session of Congress before the 2022 elections, lawmakers are running against time to pass priority bills.

As of July 2021, only 4 of 21 priority bills set in 2020 have been signed into law. –

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Rambo Talabong

Rambo Talabong covers the House of Representatives and local governments for Rappler. Prior to this, he covered security and crime. He was named Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs. In 2021, he was selected as a journalism fellow by the Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics.