Who Is Lord Allan Velasco, the Man Expected to Be Named House Speaker?
Here's everything you need to know about the 42-year-old Marinduque Representative who is expected to step in as the Speaker of the House of Representatives.
He's a lawyer.
Born November 9, 1977, the 42-year-old Lord Allan Jay Velasco is the eldest son of former Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines Presbitero Velasco Jr. and Lorna Quinto Velasco. Velasco earned his business management degree from De La Salle University and went on to get a law degree from the University of Santo Tomas.
According to Marinduque News, he "practiced his legal profession and had a stint as executive assistant and court attorney at the Office of the Court Administrator, Supreme Court of the Philippines and as judicial staff head at the office of Associate Justice, Presbitero J. Velasco, Jr."
From there, he became Marinduque's provincial administrator, as well as chapter president in various organizations. He's also a bit of an all-arounder, hosting the weekly public service TV program Sa Iyo Ang Katarungan on IBC-13.
He first hit the headlines in 2019.
President Duterte formally nominated him as the next House Speaker in July 2019. Though talk of him taking the position started months back, with Demokratiko Pilipino–Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) endorsing him as early as June 2019.
PDP-Laban campaign manager Senator Manny Pacquiao released a statement about the endorsement, saying: "Magaling si Lord Velasco as a leader. Ine-expect namin na masusuportahan niya ang panukala mga na makakatulong sa sambayanang Pilipino."
House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano says Velasco's camp was behind a plot to oust him from the speakership.
He will reportedly step in as House Speaker in October.
According to a source who was present in a meeting with Duterte over the speakership row, the Marinduque representative will take over a House Speaker on October 14. In an Instagram post, Velasco refers to the row with a lengthy statement:
Trust and honor are values that are important, especially in these trying times. They reveal our true character and show what we, as leaders, are truly made of.
And it is in this period of difficulty that our people yearn for honorable leaders whom they can trust—Leaders who are able to live up to their promises come hell or high water, Leaders with Palabra de honor who lead not with lip service, but who back up their words with action.
When the House Speakership term-sharing agreement was entered into, it was based on mutual trust and confidence. After all, it was an agreement brokered by and forged in the presence of no less than President Rodrigo Duterte.
The covenant was crystal clear: a 15-21 term-sharing agreement. The first term expires on Sept 30, after which the second term immediately begins. That was the pledge made before the President. As true leaders and as examples for our people, both sides are obligated to avoid situations or statements that would subvert the agreement and betray the trust of our people who’ve stood witness to the covenant.
Let us uphold the agreement as this was made “FOR GOD AND OUR COUNTRY 1521”. I have always intended to honor the agreement. We all should. Our people deserve nothing less.
He's close friends with the Duterte family.
A quick scroll through Velasco's Instagram reveals his close friendship with the Duterte family, which, as he says, is "beyond politics." Scattered through his feed are photos of President Duterte himself, Sara Duterte, and Sebastian Duterte.
In October 2019, he joined Duterte's second state visit to Russia. He marked the occasion with a post, saying, "Everytime we join a State / Official visit (since 2016), it became a Tradition to take a picture with PRRD inside his Presidential Room #Moscow #Russia Maraming salamat po Tatay Digong sa tunay at wagas na pagmamahal mo po sa amin ni Wen at sa mga Bata We love you po #BeyondPolitics #Family #Love"
The Duterte-Velasco "beyond politics" friendship has also led to attending each other's birthday parties, Christmas Eve celebrations, and more. In September 2019, Duterte attended the baptism of Velasco's daughter, who was coincidentally named Sara. The grand floral-themed affair also drew Ramon Ang, Bong Go, Sonny Angara, Bongbong Marcos, Mark Villar, and Joy Belmonte.
He's married to Rowena Amara.
Velasco married Rowena Amara on September 21, 2012, at the Diamond Hotel Manila's presidential suite. The wedding was attended by family and friends, including Lucy Torres-Gomez. Together, the couple has at least five children: Sophia, Bella, Ramon, Sara, and Lord Jose Maria. On Instagram, the Velascos share photos of their travels, as well as Amara's expensive taste. Highlights include a Gucci faux fur coat, a special order tri-color crocodile Hermès Birkin, and more.
No, he's not a lord.
Velasco's first name Lord is just that: a name. In media, he's been referred to as Lord Allan or Lord Allan Jay, both of which are essentially multiple first names. And, he's also extended the "title" of Lord to his newborn son by naming him Lord Jose Maria. The newest member of the Velasco family, according to Velasco's Instagram post, has also been given the nickname Jomar.