IN a very rare occasion, Speaker Lord Allan Velasco took his oath of office before President Rodrigo “Rody” Duterte in a private ceremony held at the Rizal Hall in Malacañan Palace Monday night.
“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.
The oath-taking happened on the same day Velasco celebrated his 43rd birth anniversary and almost one month after he was elected Speaker by an overwhelming majority of House members last Oct. 12.
Some House leaders led by Majority Leader and Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez witnessed the event.
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 promised to pay it forward by carrying out the legislative agenda of the Duterte administration in Congress.
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.
“I assure the President that he can rely on Congress to help him fulfill his promises to our people before his term ends in 2022,” Velasco said.
As the 27th 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 said.
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.