NOTE: THIS STORY WAS FIRST PUBLISHED IN THE BOHOL CHRONICLE’S SUNDAY PRINT EDITION.
The thunderbolt takeover of Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco has united two opposing top local officials now under the new majority at the House of Representatives.
Rep. ArisAumentado who captured the limelight after picked up by a private plane to Manila to attend the Velasco bloc meeting last Monday is now under the new House majority together with Rep. Edgar Chatto.
Chatto’s affiliation with the House majority bloc came after the entire Liberal Party pledged support to Velasco, leaving their identity with former House Speaker Allan Peter Cayetano who was pressured by Malacanang to follow a gentleman’s agreement of a term sharing with Velasco.
Aumentado belongs to the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC), the political party of the new House speaker.
He arrived yesterday from Manila where he was among the original Velasco loyalists who engineered the “takeover” of the House speakership last Monday, eve of the special session urged by President Rodrigo Duterte.
Upon his arrival from Manila yesterday, Aumentado is now undergoing the required quarantine at the Bellevue Resort in Panglao.
During an interview with the Chronicle, Aumentado assured that funding for Bohol projects will be in good hands considering his direct connection with Speaker Velasco.
He confirmed that Rep. Chatto who now pledged support to the new House majority is assured of a P1.6 billion outlay for next year while Aumentado has P1.2 billion.
The solon said because of the less tourism-related projects in his district, he got not much as the first district of Bohol. Rep. Alexie Tutor who belongs to Cayetano’sNationalista Party has P1.6 billion appropriation.
He said these proposed appropriations can very well be used for projects for next year.
Political observers said the 2021 national budget is a crucial issue since it is a pre-election year.
Aumentado is strongly endorsed to run for governor in the 2022 elections by the mayors of the second district which is the biggest district in the province.
Asked to comment on this, Aumentado said he has not given politics a major thought at this time amidst the pandemic since everyone has to double time for their pending projects.
Rep. Aumentado, like City Mayor Baba Yap is on his last term as congressman after completing his three terms.
Political realignment is expected in time for the 2022 elections.
Both Aumentado and Yap are eligible to run for another post since they are serving their last terms as congressman and mayor, respectively.