By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
Abang Lingkod party-list Representative Stephen Paduano said yesterday that the election and installation of Marinduque Representative Lord Allan Velasco as House Speaker was legal.
In a statement issued by Paduano, he said it was the majority that decided, including the majority decision on where the plenary session can be held since the session hall was “padlocked in the guise of disinfection.”
Paduano said Velasco was voted by his allies from the different parties, who knew that the integrity and credibility of the House of Representatives was put in question with the recent abrupt suspension of the session that subsequently put the 2021 Annual Budget in peril.
About 120 congressmen physically attended the plenary session at the Celebrity Sports Plaza in Quezon City, with more via Zoom and subsequently supported Velasco.
After several lawmakers nominated him, a total of 186 congressmen voted for Velasco to take over the post.
Although Deputy Speaker Paolo Duterte earlier announced his neutrality in the speakership row, the support of Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte was another factor.
Another factor for the overwhelming support to Velasco was the unequal sharing in the budget, with Taguig getting the lion’s share.
The House of Representatives resumed its session yesterday in order to tackle the 2021 budget./DGB, WDJ