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House Visayas Bloc consolidating forces

The powerful Visayas Bloc has started to consolidate its forces in an apparent bid to unite behind a single candidate for speaker, it was gathered yesterday.

Visayas Bloc lead convenor and re-elected Negros Occidental Rep. Alfredo “Albee” Benitez stressed that while the group remains non-committal in backing a speaker candidate, it is already committed to support presumptive president Davao City Mayor Rodrigo R. Duterte’s push for his legislative advocacies on peace and order, poverty reduction, public health, and education.

Benitez, chairman of the House Committee on Housing and Urban Development, said the 46-member Visayas Bloc will meet next week to discuss a common stand on the speakership and welcome its new members.

Expected to be at the center of discussion is the race for House leadership between incumbent Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. and returning Davao del Sur Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez, PDP-Laban secretary general. (Ben R. Rosario)