Filtered By: Topstories

Palace congratulates newly-elected Speaker Velasco

Malacañang on Tuesday congratulated newly-elected Speaker Lord Allan Velasco following a bitter leadership battle with his predecessor, Taguig-Pateros Representative Alan Peter Cayetano.

Velasco succeeded Cayetano after 186 lawmakers ratified his election on Monday, hours before the start of the four-day special session called by President Rodrigo Duterte for the House of Representatives to deliberate on, and pass the proposed 2021 national budget.

“Our congratulations to the new Speaker of the House, [Marinduque] Congressman Lord Allan Velasco, but as I said, that’s a decision of the House of Representatives which the President respects,” presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said at a news conference.

Roque said the President will still meet with Velasco and Cayetano, who resigned following the vote at the House plenary, at the Malacañang Golf Clubhouse on Tuesday afternoon.

“We look forward to working closely with Speaker Lord Allan Velasco because he is also a very close ally of this administration,” Roque said.

“Tingin ko naman po magpapatuloy ang buong kooperasyon ng Ehekutibo at ng Kongreso under the leadership of Speaker Lord Allan Velasco.”

Last week, Duterte reminded lawmakers to resolve their leadership stalemate and pass the national budget. He also said that he would step in if he sees a delay in the approval of the budget that will derail government service.

Next year’s budget is expected to fund measures aimed at improving the country’s healthcare system, ensuring food security, increasing investments in public and digital infrastructure and helping communities cope with the COVID-19 pandemic. —Virgil Lopez/RSJ, GMA News