Cayetano initiates meeting with top rivals after hints of looming House coup
MANILA, Philippines — Taguig Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano has called for a meeting with two of his strongest rivals in the Speaker race on Thursday night after Davao City 1st District Rep. Paolo Duterte warned that an aspirant may stage a coup d’état during the election for the top House post on July 22.
Cayetano, Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco and Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez posed for a photo during the meeting, which also included PDP-Laban House members, in Taguig City.
Reps. Lord Allan Velasco, Alan Cayetano, Martin Romualdez pose for a photo during a meeting with PDP-Laban House mems Thurs night. Duterte earlier endorsed a term-sharing deal between Cayetano and Velasco, while he chose Romualdez as majority leader. (📷 from Cayetano's office) pic.twitter.com/wshijWnnTQ
— Path Roxas (@PathRoxasINQ) July 12, 2019
In a speech during the event, Cayetano said he would discuss with Velasco and Romualdez some organizational matters in the House, including committee chairmanships and assignments.
A majority bloc caucus will also be called next week, according to Cayetano.
Prior to this Cayetano-initiated meeting, President Rodrigo Duterte endorsed a term-sharing scheme to resolve the House leadership issue, with Cayetano sitting for the first 15 months and Velasco taking over the remaining 21 months of congressmen’s three-year term. Duterte also said Romualdez will be House Majority Leader.
But earlier Thursday, presidential son, Paolo, revealed that the battle for the Speaker’s seat is far from over, hinting that a looming coup would take place.
“May election pa sa July 22 at doon ako mas interesado, kung sino ang manalo. Kasi may balita-balita, may isa sa tatlo na balak mag coup d’état on the day. Mukhang hindi pa tapos ang laban para sa kanilang tatlo at sa mga backers nila,” Paolo told INQUIRER.net, without naming the contender.
(There is an election for Speaker on July 22, I’m more interested in that. There are rumors that a candidate is planning to stage a coup d’état on that day. It appears the Speaker race is far from over.)
READ: Paolo Duterte says speaker race far from over, hints at looming coup
The President, however, immediately shot down his son’s claim and branded it as “wishful thinking.” He expressed confidence that Cayetano would get enough votes to become the next Speaker at the inaugural opening of the 18th Congress.
Sources said that despite the President’s pronouncement on the House leadership, some party-list lawmakers are still gathering signatures of support for the Speaker bet of the so-called Duterte Coalition –Davao City 3rd District Rep. Isidro Ungab.
The Duterte Coalition was formed by Paolo’s Hugpong sa Tawong Lungsod and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio’s Hugpong ng Pagbabago. /kga
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