Oct 12, 2020 @ 20:23

IBP prexy: Velasco’s assumption to speakership legal

Integrated Bar of the Philippines president Domingo Egon Cayosa on Monday said the election of Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco as speaker was valid, saying it was up to lawmakers to elect their leader according to the chamber’s internal rules.

Cayosa issued the statement when Velasco’s allies elected him as leader of the House of Representatives by removing his rival, Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano.

Cayetano rejected Velasco’s election, saying what was held was a fake and illegal session.

But Cayosa said that as far as the Constitution is concerned, it does not prescribe the details and only says the lower house will elect its officials.

“In all Congresses, they have their internal rules. What is a vacancy, when someone dies etc. or when House declares the position vacant. All positions can be declared vacant by a majority vote of the members, 186 is obviously majority,” Cayosa said.

Also, Cayosa said that under the rules, Congress traditionally conducts business in Batasan Pambansa, but they can agree to conduct business anywhere by majority vote.

“This has happened in the past. It can be online. With 186 votes, they can decide to change the rules,” he said.

Velasco was installed as Speaker by 186 of his colleagues at a gathering in the Celebrity Sports Plaza in Quezon City.

Cayosa meanwhile called on lawmakers to set aside their differences and work to pass the proposed 2021 national budget.

“They have to lessen the drama and focus on the work at hand that is the budget for the pandemic. The virus will not disappear. Lockdowns are not the answer. Where will we put the people’s money? We hope they get quickly down to work. Both are lawyers and they are both my friends,” Cayosa said. #

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