No to Velasco

SOME members of the Party-list Coalition Foundation Inc. expressed disappointment with the group’s president, 1-PACMAN Rep. Mikee Romero, for signing a manifesto supporting a speakership candidate.

Anak Kalusugan Rep. Mike Defensor and TUCP Rep. Raymond Democrito Mendoza said Romero’s support for Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco is not the stand of the PCFI.

They said signing a manifesto without the formal decision of the party-list bloc is “unfair” to its members.

“Itong ginawa ni Cong. Mikee Romero as president, kung ginawa sana ito na individual preference niya, walang problema. But to speak for the party-list bloc, it’s unfair to us. Hindi napag-usapan ‘yan. Unfair ‘yun. That was illegal, and there was no basis for that,” Defensor said in an interview on the sidelines of a caucus held in Seda Hotel.

“We would like, in clear terms, to repudiate the representation of Cong. Mikee Romero saying the party-list bloc already decided for Cong. Lord Allan Velasco. There was no such decision,” he added.

In fact, Defensor said the real score with the PCFI is that majority of the members wants Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez to be the next Speaker of the House.

For his part, Mendoza said  Romero’s signing of the manifesto is contrary to the intention of the party-list bloc to support just one candidate for speakership.

“It’s always been our belief sa coalition na talagang we will vote as a bloc. And as a bloc, we tend to have more voice in Congress and an active participation in Congress and sa committees,”  Mendoza stressed.

“But ‘yung ginawa niya runs counter to the procedure of the trust and confidence given to a leader of the bloc. I have not seen this. This is something na hindi namin gusto,” he added.

Another member of the coalition denied that the bloc has come to a decision to support  Velasco.

“As far as the coalition is concerned, wala pa kami na-endorse,” Ako Bicol party-list Representative Alfredo Garbin told reporters in a viber message.

“Maybe he signed in his personal capacity but the same cannot be attributed to the collective decision of the members of the coalition,” he added.

Yesterday, the PDP-Laban issued a manifestation showing that four major blocs at the House, namely PDP-Laban, the Nationalist People’s Coalition, the Party-list Coalition, and the Northern Luzon Alliance have signed the manifesto of support of Velasco.

In a separate statement, Romero confirmed that he has signed the manifesto of support for Velasco.

But he said they will ratify, during their meeting, what he has signed.

In a resolution signed by PCFI members on June 19, the organization affirmed Romero’s role as their representative “for any speakership-related representation.”

In the same resolution, the party-list bloc declared “That we, all 54 members of PCFI, will vote for Speakership in the 18th  Congress as a bloc with a single and common choice, both individually and collectively.”

The PCFI also stressed that it was its intention to “wholly support the choice of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte for Speakership, should he through Senator Bong Go and/or Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, publicly endorse a Speaker aspirant for the 18th Congress.”