Five days after the elections, those aspiring to be Speaker – the fourth highest official of the land – have launched their respective campaigns to win the support of President Duterte, their colleagues and power brokers.
Michael Varcas
Mad scramble for speakership seen in House
Jezz Diaz (The Philippine Star) - May 19, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — A mad scramble is on for the top position in the House of Representatives.

Five days after the elections, those aspiring to be Speaker – the fourth highest official of the land – have launched their respective campaigns to win the support of President Duterte, their colleagues and power brokers.

Those interested in the speakership include Reps. Lord Allan Jay Velasco of Marinduque, Aurelio Gonzales Jr. of Pampanga, Joel Mayo Almario of Davao Oriental, former speaker Pantaleon Alvarez of Davao del Norte, Alan Peter Cayetano of Taguig, Martin Romualdez of Leyte and incumbent majority leader Fredenil Castro of Capiz.

Velasco, Gonzalez, Alvarez and Almario belong to PDP-Laban, Cayetano to Nacionalista Party (NP), Romualdez to Lakas and Castro to National Unity Party (NUP).

Another potential candidate is outgoing senator and Antique representative-elect Loren Legarda, a Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) member.

Except for Lakas, which has been marginalized by desertions to PDP-Laban, the dominant political parties in the House have sizeable membership. All are also associated with billionaire power brokers.

Another group to reckon with in the speakership fight is the coalition of party-list representatives.

Rep. Mikee Romero of 1-Pacman, one of the coalition’s leaders, said they would support the aspirant President Duterte would endorse.

The speakership hopefuls are making a beeline to Malacañang.

House sources told The STAR yesterday that Velasco had dinner with President Duterte on Friday to court his support for his speakership aspiration.

During the three-month election campaign, Velasco was frequently seen accompanying Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio and her Hugpong ng Pagbabago candidates.

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES HOUSE SPEAKER
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