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Duterte swears in Velasco as House Speaker

Rodrigo Duterte and Lord Allan Velasco
President Rodrigo Duterte and Lord Allan Velasco

SPEAKER Lord Allan Velasco took his oath as Speaker of the House yesterday, on his 43rd birthday.

President Rodrigo Duterte administered the oath in a private ceremony held at the Rizal Hall in Malacañang Palace Monday night.

Majority Leader and Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez, together with other House leaders, witnessed the rare event of a new Speaker sworn into office by the President himself in Malacanang.

“I am deeply honored to be sworn in by President Duterte who I admire a lot and have high regard for. He is also one of the persons to whom I am greatly indebted,” Velasco said.

Velasco was elected as Speaker last October 12 by an overwhelming majority votes. He replaced Taguig City Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano under their term-sharing agreement.

Velasco once again thanked the President for all his help in making sure the speakership term-sharing agreement he brokered last year would be followed.

The Marinduque lawmaker vowed to carry out the legislative agenda of the Duterte administration in Congress as a way of thanking the Presdent for his support.

Velasco said the House will adhere to the Chief Executive’s call for enabling legislation that would put an end to systemic corruption and protect the interests and welfare of overseas Filipino workers, farmers and fisherfolk.

As the 27th House Speaker, Velasco also vowed to exert all efforts toward attaining his goal of a “stronger, inclusive and united House.”

“We will work together in Congress to pass laws that are timely and responsive to the needs of our countrymen and to make the lower chamber truly the House representing the people,” he added.

Velasco first took his oath before barangay captain Allan Franza of Matandang Balara, Quezon City, shortly after his election as Speaker in a remote session held at the Celebrity Sports Plaza last Oct. 12.

The following day, more than 200 House members ratified his election at the plenary hall of the Batasan Pambansa in Quezon City.