Majority Leader and Leyte Rep. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez will retain his post after speaker-in-waiting and Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco takes over the speakership under the term-sharing agreement he has with Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano.
In July 2019, shortly before the 18th Congress convened, Cayetano and Velasco entered into a gentlemen’s agreement that would give Cayetano the first 15 months as speaker while Velasco would take over for 21 months or until Congress adjourned.
Romualdez, who was the top contender in the speakership race at the time, was prevailed upon by President Rodrigo Duterte to withdraw his bid and was named majority leader instead.
Velasco acknowledged Friday that Romualdez was a part of the term-sharing deal that should be honored by all parties involved.
He also played down rumors that key leadership positions would be shuffled once he assumes the speakership.
He added that Romualdez, as chairman of the committee on rules, would have a say on who is in and who is out.
He said he had assured Romualdez that he would abide by the terms of their agreement.
Velasco said the agreement was put on paper and that he, Cayetano and Romualdez had signed it. Cayetano had added “For God and Country” to the agreement, Velasco added.