House leadership maintains status quo, for now?

Published November 17, 2021, 4:17 PM

by Ben Rosario

The leadership in the House of Representatives maintained a status quo, with Speaker Lord Allan Velasco and Majority Leader Martin Romualdez keeping their seats amid reports that their respective camps have plotted to launch coups against each other.

Rep Michael Aglipay2

DIWA Partylist Rep. Michael Aglipay said neither Velasco nor Romualdez and their respective followers were more interested in maintaining the current balance of power in the chamber.

However, Aglipay said rumors about a supposed coup to unseat the two leaders may have been initiated by Romualdez’s Lakas-CMD in order to avert a possible move to take him out.

He belittled the capability of Lakas-CMD to mount a coup against Velasco.

In a zoom press conference on Wednesday, Nov. 17, Aglipay pointed out that with Lakas-CMD having a members of only 30 in the Lower House, any attempt to unseat Velasco cannot stand.

Velasco belongs to Duterte’s party, the PDP-Laban, which is represents at least 120 congressmen.

Aglipay admitted that there have been talks about unseating Romualdez as President Rodrigo Duterte has indicated his displeasure at Lakas-CMD in connection with the decision of his daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio to represent the party as its vice presidential bet in 2022.

“That Maam Sara will run for president, that is his only wish,” Aglipay said.
 However, Aglipay said a Malacañang official has confided to him that Duterte does not support any plot to remove Romualdez as majority leader.

On Tuesday, Nov. 16, Romualdez issued a press statement denying that he is planning to unseat Velasco.

“Such idea has not even crossed my mind. These coup rumors have been going on since 2019 and to this day, there has been no evidence of one being hatched,” he said.

On the same day, at least 95 congressmen belonging to the majority bloc met with President Duterte in Malacañang with the chief executive enjoining his congressional allies to support the candidacies of Senator Christopher “Bong” Go for president and Mayor Duterte for vice president.

Except for one Lakas-CMD congressman, Romualdez and his partymates in the Lower House were not among the presidential guests.