Lord Velasco visits Sara Duterte amid speakership row

Marinduque Representative Lord Allan Velasco visited presidential daughter and Davao City amid the ongoing speakership rivalry at the House of Representatives.

GMA News Online shared a photo of Velasco eating with Sara in Davao City, which reportedly happened last Friday night.

Meanwhile, Oriental Representative Salvador Leachon, an ally of Velasco, the photo of the two politicians, “says it all.”

“Mayor Sara Duterte has endorsed Cong. Lord Velasco as the next Speaker of the House of Representatives anytime this week but without interruption on the budget deliberation,” he said.

“She’s doing it as a friend of Cong. Velasco. Besides, she believes that parties to the term-sharing agreement must be gentleman enough to comply,” he added.

The speakership term-sharing agreement was supposed to be 15 months for Cayetano and 21 months for Velasco.

President Rodrigo Duterte arranged the agreement at the start of the 18th Congress in July last year.

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Lord Velasco visits Sara Duterte amid speakership row

Cayetano is from the Nacionalista Party and has sought to consolidate his coalition alliances, including with National Unity Party, Lakas-CMD, and allied party-list groups. He was also Duterte’s running mate during the 2015 national elections.

Velasco, meanwhile, is also known as a supporter of Duterte. Lord Velasco and his wife Rowena Velasco are close to the President’s daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte.

“Non-adherence to agreement is a defiance to her father, as I perceive any daughter would feel, and we can’t deny it because there can be no interpretation other than that,” Leachon said.

The congressman said the meeting only supports the earlier statement of President Duterte’s son and Deputy Speaker Paolo Duterte that Velasco has a right to fight for his term share as .

Velasco’s meeting with Sara also intends to end the squabble in Congress that “threatens fragmentation among Congress members, sows disrespect to the wishes of the President, including the hostage of the ’s budget.”

On Friday, President Duterte called for a special session of the House from October 13 to 16 “to resume the congressional deliberations on the proposed 2021 national budget and avoid any further delays on its prompt passage.”