Next Speaker? Velasco denies involvement in alleged ouster plot vs Arroyo

RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 18 2018 05:13 PM

MANILA- Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco denied Tuesday any involvement in an alleged plot to unseat House Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

Velasco's name was floated by a highly placed source as the possible replacement of Arroyo should she be removed from her post.

"I categorically deny any involvement in any plans whatsoever to unseat the Speaker," Velasco said in a statement, noting that he does not aspire to be the leader of the House of Representatives.

"I assure Speaker GMA that I am not behind any plot to challenge her leadership, and I wish to put to rest all further rumor-mongering," he added.

Arroyo might lose speakership due to disagreements on some allocations in the 2019 budget, sources said.

Another source said this was coming from the group insisting on keeping some P55 billion worth of projects in the 2019 budget.

The source claimed Arroyo wanted the money distributed equitably to all congressmen.

"We are unequivocal in our support for Speaker GMA from day one and oppose attempts to sow disunity and mistrust in the House," Velasco said.

Arroyo was elected leader of the House after a nationally televised power tussle with her predecessor, Davao Del Norte Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez on the day of President Rodrigo Duterte's third State of the Nation Address last July.