Photo shows contenders for House speakership race with President Rodrigo Duterte
Duterte: Cayetano, Velasco to share House speakership
(Philstar.com) - July 8, 2019 - 5:17pm

MANILA, Philippines (Updated 6:34 p.m.) — Reps. Alan Peter Cayetano (Taguig) and Lord Allan Velasco (Marinduque) will have a term-sharing agreement as House speaker, President Rodrigo Duterte announced Monday.

“I think it’s about time I talk. So your speaker will be Alan Peter Cayetano. Ang sharing dito is he shares the term with Lord Velasco,” Duterte said.

Cayetano was Duterte’s running mate in the 2016 elections. Velasco, meanwhile, was the choice of the president's political party, PDP-Laban, for House speaker. 

Cayetano will be the speaker for the first 15 months, then Velasco will lead the lower chamber for the next 21 months, presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a statement. 

Rep. Martin Romualdez (Leyte), another leading contender for the House speakership, will become majority floor leader.

Panelo said Cayetano, Velasco and Romualdez sought the president's help to settle the conflict. 

“Since the election of the Speaker has resulted in a bitter and fractious rivalry that threatens the break-up of political allies, the President, to save the unity of the alliance and avert its fragmentation, obliged to the request of the three candidates, who to their credit agree to respect the choice of PRRD,” Panelo said.

The Palace earlier said the chief executive is keeping his hands off the speakership contest.

The organization of the House is the first order of business when the new Congress convenes on July 22. The house speaker is elected by a majority of all the representatives from among themselves and not the president. 

House speaker is a key position in the last three years of Duterte's term and in the lead up to the 2022 national elections. It is the third and last in line in succession for the presidency. — Gaea Katreena Cabico

ALAN PETER CAYETANO LORD ALLAN VELASCO RODRIGO DUTERTE
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