Visayas lawmakers back Cayetano as House Speaker

Jove Moya

HOUSE Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano garnered the support of 48 lawmakers from the Visayas through Cebu 5th District Representative Vincent Franco Frasco, who declared “solid” support for the politician.

Frasco, who chairs the House committee on Visayas development, said he believes that Cayetano transformed the House into “a more responsible legislative chamber.”

"We will continue to heed the Speaker’s guidance, as we believe that his fair and uncompromising stand on issues such as the ABS-CBN franchise renewal is the appropriate way of handling such concerns,” Frasco said in a statement.

“Visayas bloc remains fully supportive of Speaker Alan, who has demonstrated the kind of leadership, dedication and service to the people that we need to restore the public’s trust and confidence in the House of Representatives,” Frasco added.

The Speaker earlier said that Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco, who is set to take over the House speakership in October 2020, had hatched a plot to oust him.

According to Cayetano, he is ready to be ousted if this is what his 299 other colleagues in the House want.

"I believe in what I believe. I will not be transactional. I will not sacrifice my principles and this administration’s priorities. I believe most members of Congress see and appreciate the reforms I stand for. If they do, then I will continue to serve as their Speaker,” said Cayetano.

“If they don’t, then they can remove me, I will continue to serve as the representative of Taguig and Pateros. I will continue the ‘lonely fight’ with whoever will join me,” he added.

Meanwhile, Buhay Party-list Rep. Lito Atienza disclosed Cayetano’s plan of moving to declare all House of Representative posts vacant and call for fresh votes.

“He would be the one to cause the call to all positions vacant. Gawin niya, nang malaman ng buong bansa kung sino ang may pagnanasa sa puwesto. Sino ang magpapatawag ng eleksyon sa Kongreso nang wala naman sa lugar?” Atienza said.

Cayetano was quick to defend himself, saying that he cannot predict what will happen in the House.

“I cannot predict what is going to happen sa floor, which can happen anytime and any member naman can make any motion, but very clear naman ‘yong sinabi ko last week-- Kung ayaw niyo na sa akin, ‘di niyo kayang suportahan ‘yung mga reporma na tinutulak ko, palitan niyo na ako,” the Speaker said.

“If you're going to continue mga intrigues, umalis nalang kayo sa posisyon ninyo and doon kayo bumalik kapag naging speaker na si cong velasco kung kelan man ‘yon,” he added. (SunStar Philippines)