MANILA, Philippines – House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano insists that the decision of President Rodrigo Duterte on the leadership in the lower chamber of Congress must be respected.
This is why, as far as Cayetano is concerned, the term-sharing in the House Speakership is no longer an issue between him and Marinduque Representatives Lord Alan Velasco despite the suggestions of some members of the Lower House to extend his term which is until December 2020.
“Hindi naman kasi kailangan pag usapan eh. So, we say hi to each other and that’s it, ‘di ba? In fact, halos wala akong congressman na nakakausap na ang pinag-uusapan speaskership. Trabaho. Once in a while meron papasyal sa office ko, ‘speaker sana hindi ka na mapalitan.’ Pero standard pa rin ‘itong answer ko, hindi kita kokontrahin, tutukan natin iyong trabaho,” said Cayetano.
The immediate passage of the 2020 national budget in the House of Representatives (HOR) and his high trust and approval ratings are reportedly what prompted some congressmen to push for Cayetano’s term extension.
Per agreement, Cayetano will be the House Speaker for 15 months and, after that, Velasco will have his term in the succeeding 21 months.
President Duterte has earlier said that he will no longer meddle with the issue and it’s up to the members of the House to decide on what’s to become of the term-sharing deal.
Cayetano, however, insists that Velasco has nothing to worry about because it is the President’s word that they both are holding on to.
“No one can take over with just saying ikaw na next kasi wala namang vice speaker eh. So as I said, it’s very unproductive and very speculative to talk about 18 to 15 months from now,” Cayetano insisted.
Despite Cayetano’s pronouncement, the members of the lower chamber are set to vote for the next House Speaker. (from the report of Mai Bermudez) /mbmf
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