House party-list bloc split over Speaker race

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 26 2019 03:12 PM

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MANILA -- The Party-List Coalition in the House of Representatives has yet to choose a candidate for Speaker, a member said Wednesday, despite the bloc president's signing of a manifesto expressing support for the bid of Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco to lead the lower chamber of Congress. 

The bloc president, 1PACMAN Rep. Mikee Romero, may have signed the document "in his personal capacity but the same cannot be attributed to the collective decision of the members of the coalition," AKO Bicol Party-list Rep. Alfredo Garbin said in a statement. 

"We haven't decided yet in choosing our standard bearer for the Speakership," Garbin added in an ANC interview. 

The party, he said, was still considering 2 candidates for Speaker whom he refused to name. 

The next Speaker should be "a consensus builder", who "listens not only to big political parties but will also treat the party coalition as equal," said Garbin. 

President Rodrigo Duterte poses for a photo with Senator-elect Christopher "Bong" Go and speakership contenders Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco, incoming Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez, and incoming Taguig-Pateros Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano. Photo from Go's Facebook page

Romero, meanwhile, said he signed the manifesto based on "the blanket authority given to me by the party list coalition signed by majority of the members." 

The party-list will "ratify what I signed through a votation" on Wednesday night, he said in a separate statement. 

With a report from RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News