Lawmaker posts ‘wow mali’ tweet on speaker bet

IN an unfortunate case of “wow mali” (wrong) viber post, I-Pacman party-list Rep. Mikee Romero virtually exposed himself as supporter of speaker candidate and Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco ahead of the 54-strong Party-list Coalition Foundation Inc. (PCFI) decision to choose the speaker-wannabe they would be supporting, a lawmaker bared yesterday.

Anakalusugan party-list Representative-elect Mike Defensor said Romero, president of the PCFI and the richest congressman with P7.858 net worth as of December 2018, committed a booboo when he posted to their “Party List Reps. 18th Congress” viber thread Thursday night his supposed message to other viber thread or to Velasco himself for them to identify their lawmakers-enemies in the speakership race.

“Sinabi ni Cong. Mikee ‘send this to Lord (Allan Velasco) so malaman niya sino ang mga kalaban natin.’ Then he deleted his message after realizing that it was a mistake,” said Defensor.

“That’s a very funny and unfortunate mistake because we are still in the process of forming a decision among the party-lists. (If) He wants to solidify our group or vote as bloc, I feel he should maintain his neutrality and just make a decision in the end. But I respect his position,” said Defensor, adding that Romero called for a meeting with the members of PCFI on June 19, 6 p.m., at Sulu Hotel in Quezon City to continue their selection process or make a decision.

“Actually I was not the only one who saw it, but there were others who were able to read it,” said Defensor. “He is now exposed (Mikee is for Velasco).”

Defensor was referring to Romero’s response to Deputy Speaker and AAMBIS OWA party-list Rep. Sharon Garin’s post on the invitation of Taguig-Pateros Representative-elect Alan Peter Cayetano’s group for a workshop, generally on parliamentary procedure and the traditions of Congress, budget process, among other things with congressmen on June 18, 2019 at Quest Hotel, Clark, Pampanga.

In the invitation, some perceived congressmen-supporters of Cayetano were listed as sponsors of the event that Romero probably was referring to as enemies of Velasco in his deleted viber message.

These include Camarines Sur Rep. LRay Villafuerte, Deputy Speaker and Batangas Rep. Raneo Abu of the Nacionalista Party (NP); San Juan City Rep.  Ronnie Zamora, Tagaytay City Rep. Bambol Tolentino, and Laguna Rep. Dan Fernandez of the ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino–Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban); and Antipolo City Rep. Robbie Puno of the National Unity Party (NUP).

Although the PCFI is expected to decide this coming week on the candidate for speaker it will back under the leadership of Romero, Defensor said he respects the personal preference of the richest congressman.

“I am not worried because we have individual understanding about our personal preference. Pero iyun nga na-Wow Mali siya. Malamang intended sa ibang viber thread ang kanyang message,” Defensor stressed.

Earlier, Puwersa ng Bayaning Atleta (PBA) party-list Rep. Jericho Nograles said the party-list bloc is now narrowing down their selection process for speakership race to Velasco and Leyte Representative-elect Martin Romualdez, president of the Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (CMD) and Philippine Constitution Association (Philconsa).

Other serious candidates in the speakership race are Cayetano and former Speaker Pantaleon “Bebot” Alvarez.

Meanwhile Romero issued this statement on PCFI’s common bet:

“My personal preference is just one vote. After we do the process and select a speaker aspirant even if I am in the losing side, I will abide by and vote for what the majority of our members will go with. This is the essence of democracy of our own democratic process. In the end, we shall still vote as one despite all the differences in our preferences