Pdp-laban bet for House Speaker known next week
PAMPANGA Representative Aurelio “Dong” Gonzales Jr. said Tuesday, June 4, 2019, that the ruling party’s candidate for House Speaker in the 18th Congress will be known next week.
Gonzales, who has announced his bid for the highest position among local elective posts, was confident that he has an edge over the other possible candidates of Partido Demokratiko Pilipino - Lakas ng Bayan (Pdp-laban) for the speakership.
The two other possible Pdp-laban candidates are Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco and former Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez.
Two other congressmen have also expressed interest in the post, namely, Leyte Representative-elect Martin Romualdez and President Rodrigo Duterte’s former runningmate Alan Peter Cayetano, who will be representing Taguig City.
The 18th Congress will open on July 22, 2019 and yet, the lawmakers are already jockeying for position.
Gonzales said his advantage over the other contenders is that he does not have any ambition for a higher office.
“Pag umupo ka sa Speaker you are planning for higher office for the next election, but, Dong Gonzales, wala po tayong ambition sa national maski senador, vice-president, o president,” he added.
(If you serve as Speaker, you usually have plans for higher office next election. But I don’t have such an ambition, not for senator, nor vice-president, nor president.)
He also said he is not protecting any businesses.
“And number three, wala po akong pinoprotectahan na negosyo. I’m just an ordinary congressman. I came from humble beginnings. Wala
akong pinoprotectionan. So, I am here to serve. I will serve my constituents, I will serve the 304 congressmen and congresswomen,” he added.
Gonzales said he does not have direct access to the President, who is head of Pdplaban, or to presidential daughter Sara Duterte-carpio, unlike the four other contenders.
He said he learned that there were initial talks about the House speakership during the President’s visit to Japan.
Gonzales vowed to make sure that if he is elected as Speaker, unity will be achieved in the House.
“So, ako naman po pag ako naman ay naupo, ako ang magiging equalizing or unifiying speaker para ma-unite ‘ko po ang bansa, ma-unite ‘ko ang political biases sa ating bansa,” he said.
He also vowed to treat all members of the House equally and fairly, including the party-list representatives.
“I will treat them as district congressmen. Itretreat ko sila parang normal na congressman. Yung mga karapat dapat ng ibinigay samin pwede rin natin ibigay sa mga kapwa congressman o party-list,” he added.
Gonzales said, however, that he would respect the President’s decision if he is not chosen to represent Pdplaban in the race for the speakership.