Velasco ally: Deputy speakers from rival NUP, NP likely to keep posts

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 14)— Deputy speakers from political parties once critical of newly-installed House Speaker Lord Allan Velasco, including the party of ousted rival Alan Peter Cayetano, will likely keep their posts for 'harmony', a congressman bared.

Valenzuela Rep. Eric Martinez, an ally of Velasco, said in an interview with the media that this includes deputy speakers from the Nacionalista Party and National Unity Party, who initially vouched for Cayetano's extended term.

Martinez said that it was a "good sign" that some of the deputy critical of Velasco even greeted him when he presided session in the House plenary for the first time on Tuesday.

"Kahapon naman (Yesterday), some of the deputy speakers who are very critical of Speaker Lord Velasco, sila ang sumalubong kay Speaker Velasco. And that is a good sign," he said. "I think that is the way to go for Congress and for all other chairmen and deputy speakers."

NP and NUP have yet to publicly declare their support for Velasco, who was elected speaker by 186 lawmakers on Monday. NP serves as Cayetano's party, while Velasco belongs to PDP-Laban.

READ: House ratifies Velasco's election as Speaker 

Of the 21 deputy speakers, those from the NP were Luis Raymund Villafuerte of Camarines Sur, Ilocos Sur Rep. Deogracia Savellano, Misamis Occidental Rep. Henry Oaminal, and Batangas Reps. Vilma Santos-Recto and Raneo Abu.

Deputy speakers from the NUP are Mandaluyong Rep. Neptali Gonzales, Cebu Rep. Pablo John Garcia, Laguna Rep. Dan Fernandez, and Rizal Rep. Roberto Puno.

Meanwhile, one of Velasco's allies got her post back as health committee chair, after she was booted out of office before Cayetano suspended session last week. On Tuesday, Quezon Rep. Helen Tan was elected again to chair the health committee, replacing Guimaras Rep. Lucille Nava.

In his Facebook Live post on Wednesday, Cayetano urged Velasco not to listen to some of his allies' call to change key House posts under the new leadership.

"Malinaw na malinaw na sinabi ng Pangulo na he does not want disruption so walang palitan ng kahit anong chairmanship," Cayetano said.

"There are now some of your people talking to some of our people na magpalit na lang, umalis na lang, pati kwarto kinukuha," Cayetano added. "Let's not do that, let's focus on the budget."

[Translation: The President clearly said that he does not want disruption so there must be no change in any committee chairmanships. There are now some of your people telling my camp that there should be changes in posts, they even want to take over the offices. Let's not do that, let's focus on the budget.]

Under the term sharing agreement, only the position of chairman of the Committee on Accounts will be changed, when there is a change in speakership.

During Tuesday's special session, presidential son and Davao City Rep. Paolo Duterte was elected as the new chairman of the house accounts committee, replacing Cavite Rep. Abraham "Bambol" Tolentino.

CNN Philippines' Xianne Arcangel and Eimor Santos contributed to this report.