Five congressmen to challenge JdV for house post

PHILIPPINE NEWS SERVICE — CONGRESSMEN allied with Speaker Jose De Venecia are unfazed by the growing number of contenders for the highest post in the House.

At least five congressmen- elect had manifested their intention to slug it out with De Venecia in the speakership race. They are Pablo Garcia of Cebu, Mary Ann Susano of Quezon City, Carlos Padilla of Nueva Vizcaya, Edelmiro Amante of Agusan del Norte, and Rufus Rodriquez of Cagayan de Oro City.

The list of contenders could even get longer as the election for the speakership draws nearer.

Assistant Majority Leader Vincent Garcia of Davao City and Bulacan Rep. Lorna Silverio are confident De Venecia would emerge the winner in the speakership race.

They also called on their colleagues to consider the agenda and reforms of those joining the speakership bandwagon. “Everyone would ultimately be working as a team once the race is over.”

Since the speakership contest is getting to be a free-for-all fight, Garcia said any congressman- elect has the right to take a shot and vie for the House top post.

Silverio, chairman of the House committee on inter-parliamentary relations and diplomacy, said De Venecia’s solid accomplishments and his long list of supporters assure him of retaining the speakership.

De Venecia would not have become speaker four times if his performance was lackluster, Silverio said. “We admire him for his exemplary leadership and solid accomplishments.”

She expressed hope that the speakership race would not promote divisiveness but would encourage instead a demonstration of camaraderie and statemanship among House members.

“We should all realize that the speakership contest is just temporary. We all need to unite and support each other eventually to fulfill a common legislative agenda.”