‘Vote-buying’ in speakership race may reach P7M per House member – solon
Party-list bloc head vows to expose vote-buyers
MANILA, Philippines — Some candidates for Speaker of the House of Representatives would allegedly expend up to P7 million per member of the lower chamber as the battle for the post heats on.
This was the claim of Pampanga 3rd District Rep. Aurelio “Dong” Gonzales Jr., who also aspires to be Speaker of the incoming 18th Congress.
“Sa 2 milyon (pesos) maliit pa nga ‘yun eh. I heard yesterday na magiging P7 million pa ‘yan pero dapat ‘wag nang ganun,” Gonzales said in an interview Tuesday, as he was asked if he believes former Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez’s claim of vote-buying in the lower chamber for the speakership race.
During a meeting of Partido Demokratiko Pilipino–Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) members in the lower chamber on Monday night, Gonzales said he appealed that the ruling party’s contenders for Speaker should not resort to vote-buying as it mars the reputation of the House.
“‘Pag may usok may apoy. Pero ‘di ko alam ‘yon. Sinasabi sa akin merong ganyan pero siguro ‘di na dapat gawin ‘yung magbigay ng pera kasi sinisira natin ‘yung institusyon eh,” Gonzales, himself a PDP-Laban member, said.
Other PDP-Laban bets for the speakership were Alvarez and Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco.
Meanwhile, 1-Pacman Rep. Michael Romero, president of the party-list coalition in the House, said they were insulted by the reported vote-buying.
“‘Yung vote buying na ‘yan we feel very insulted. In fact, our votes are not worth anything… it is not worth any peso,” Romero said in a separate interview.
The party-list representative said he thinks none of their members have been approached by candidates who wanted to buy votes.
“I-e-expose namin ‘yung mga nagvo-vote buying if there is,” Romero promised.
Apart from Gonzales, Alvarez, and Velasco, Taguig-Pateros Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano of the Nacionalista Party and Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez of the Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats were also vying to become the next Speaker. (Editor: Katherine G. Adraneda)
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