Pdp-laban bet for House Speaker known next week

Sun Star Bacolod - - Nation -

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.

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