OUST Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo?
Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco denied involvement in a plot to remove Arroyo as House Speaker, saying he will remain supportive of the former President.
Velasco was allegedly being groomed to replace Arroyo, whom her detractors want ousted due to lost of confidence caused by the bickering among solons over budget insertions.
In a statement, Velasco said he is not aspiring for any position in the House as he is already satisfied being chairman of the House Committee on Energy.
“I categorically deny any involvement in any plans whatsoever to unseat the Speaker,” Velasco said.
This is the second time that Velasco was linked to the House leadership change.
“This also happened before, during the time of the former Speaker Alvarez, when my name was floated first as a contender for the speakership, or in the alternative, for the post of Majority Leader. As you can see, I didn’t aspire for such positions then, in the same way that I am NOT aspiring for the speakership now,” Velasco added.
He then assured Speaker Arroyo that he will not be part of any plot to challenge her leadership.
“I wish to put to rest all further rumor-mongering,” he said.
Lawmakers linked to alleged budget insertions denied knowing of or having anything to do with the issue.
Former Speaker and Davao del Norte Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez in a text message washed his hands off the controversy and stressed he did not request special allocations.
“I don’t know what they are talking about,” Alvarez said.
He added “it doesn’t make sense” if he asks for budget outside his district.
Earlier, the camp of Majority Leader Rolando Andaya questioned the alleged insertions in the proposed national budget amounting to P55 billion.
Reports said Alvarez will be getting at least P2.9 billion for his proposed infrastructure projects which will be undertaken by the Department of Public Works and Highways.
The budget deliberation has been stalled because Andaya wants the P55 billion insertions or hidden pork barrel removed from the appropriations committee report.
Another solon, Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman denied participation in the allocation of funds for his district.
Allegedly, the district of Lagman, an opposition leader, will be gifted with at least P1.2 billion to P3 billion allocations.
“I have no participation whatsoever in the allocation of funds or the funding of projects as contained in the President’s National Expenditure Program (NEP),” Lagman said.
“I have not requested nor initiated any amount attributed to my district because the NEP is supposed to be solely prepared by the Executive Department, more particularly the Department of Budget and Management, unless there are intruders, of whom I am presently unaware of, whose intervention or interference has been accommodated,” he added.