House of Representatives Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano will step down from his post following weeks of controversy, with rival Lord Allan Velasco scheduled to take over the position on Oct. 14.
It was President Rodrigo Duterte who brokered a term-sharing deal between the two lawmakers in July 2019, which allowed Cayetano to be the speaker for the first 15 months of the 18th Congress and Velasco to serve out the remaining half of the term. However, allies of Cayetano pushed the possibility that the Taguig City congressman could extend his term, because of his alleged popularity among lawmakers. They even signed a manifesto showing their support for Cayetano.
The president last night again served as a referee between the two in a meeting held in Malacañang Palace to put an end on the issue. It was agreed that they would honor the previously brokered “gentleman’s agreement” and Velasco will lead the chamber until June 2022.
The changeover comes after presidential son and Davao City Rep. Paolo Duterte announced last week that he was intent to have Cayetano removed from the speakership, allegedly because the former’s Mindanao allies were not getting their fair share of the national budget. Another lawmaker, Negros Oriental Rep. Arnolfo Teves Jr., also questioned why Cayetano’s home district was getting far more than his province’s budget.
Velasco had denied multiple times that he was behind a coup plot against Cayetano, and said earlier this week that he “intended to honor” their agreement.
Despite the controversies, no ouster happened last week, and both Paolo and Cayetano were even photographed unwinding in a Davao City home. Congressman Eric Yap, Paolo’s ally, told reporters that the gathering was not work-related, and the group chatted about their personal lives.
This article, Done Deal: Cayetano booted as House of Representatives speaker as Velasco takes over, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company.