Senator Manny Pacquiao’s announcement that PDP Laban was backing Marinduque representative Lord Allan Jay Velasco as House Speaker seems to have TORN apart the single largest party in the House of Representatives.
On the strength of a “manifesto” of support — perhaps similar to the manifesto of support for Senator Tito Sotto as Senate President that he shopped around till he was scolded by Sen. Cynthia Villar — Senator Pacquiao preemptively and presumptuously declared victory for Velasco.
An observer watching a video clip of the declaration cringed as Pacquiao read a statement on PDP’s decision to support Velasco as House Speaker.
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“How they can manage to call themselves a political party is beyond me! It seems they just bulldozed over the nominations of Cong. Aurelio Gonzales and Cong . Pantaleon Alvarez. What would have been proper for a true party is for all the members to get together and VOTE for a single nominee. What happened here is the so-called leaders of PDP Laban just made a decision and RAMMED IT DOWN THE THROATS OF ITS MEMBERS.”
As expected, Alvarez recently came out in news saying that he had been kept in the dark about the decision to name Velasco as PDP Laban’s nominee.
“Nagulat ako sa anunsyo ni Sen. Pacquiao na yung pambato ng PDP-Laban ay si Cong. Velasco na. Malaman-laman ko, wala naman pa lang tawag yung ating Pangulo na sinasabing ito na kandidato ko. Parang nag-lolokohan lang tayo dito,” Alvarez told radio DZMM.
Alvarez said Pacquiao was authorized by PDP-Laban officials, during a dinner with party-list members, to announce only Duterte’s choice.
“Ang napag-usapan, bago umalis sa dinner si Sen. Manny, ay the leadership of PDP-Laban authorized him to announce kung ano man yun sasabihin ng ating Pangulo. Ako naman, naniniwala sa napagkasunduan,” he said.
“Hindi naman ‘yun (announcement) napag-usapan. Kasi kung yun talaga yun, ako naman mismo ang mangunguna doon sa pagsusuporta kung sino man yung ieendorso ng ating Pangulo,” he added.
Word has it that Alvarez has about 40 members of PDP Laban supporting his bid for House Speaker and with this latest slap in the face by his own party mates, it is expected that the party will be split in two.
An observer says, “I don’t think our PDP Laban senators can dictate anything to their party mates in the House of Representatives. Sobrang yabang naman ng dating ng mga yan, wala naman suportang naramdaman ang mga PDP Laban na lumaban sa local elections.”
At this point many are asking, “What is it with this all out campaign to have Velasco installed as House Speaker? What has he done for Duterte apart from playing second fiddle to SAP Bong Go? Did he defend the President’s stands on any of the hundreds of controversial issues hurled against him? Did he put his name on the line to push for any of the political reforms that the President certified as urgent?”
Well, yeah… What gives with this Velasco for House Speaker campaign?