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Velasco won’t give up Speaker seat, expects Cayetano to honor term sharing

/ 09:12 PM July 22, 2019

Duterte ends speakership squabble

MANILA, Philippines — Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco on Monday said he is not giving up on his bid to take the House Speaker seat after newly elected House leader Alan Peter Cayetano finishes his 15-month term.

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“I’m not giving up, we had a gentleman’s agreement so I’ll respect the 15 months of Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano and hopefully by the 15th month, he said he will step down and then… we’ll still go back to an election of the Speaker,” Velasco said in an interview after President Rodrigo Duterte’s fourth State of the Nation Address.

The known ally and friend of the Duterte family meanwhile brushed off Davao City 1st District Rep. Paolo Duterte’s opposition to the term-sharing scheme between him and Cayetano, and the reminder that the House should elect a new Speaker after the Taguig-Pateros’ representatives’ term.

“The term sharing agreement is one between congressman Cayetano, (Martin) Romualdez, Velasco and the President. I am against any term sharing agreement, however, if the Speaker resigns after 15 months, then we will have to elect a new Speaker,” Paolo said during the chamber’s first regular session.

Velasco said he would leave this matter to his colleagues in the lower House.

READ: Paolo Duterte: Elect a new Speaker after Cayetano’s 15-month term

“It’s a given that… there has to be an election (of the Speaker)… At the end of the day, we really don’t know what will happen in 15 months, I’ll leave it up to my colleagues,” the congressman said.

The President earlier endorsed the term-sharing between Cayetano and Velasco, with Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez sitting as majority leader. And during the first regular session of the House earlier in the day, the chamber dominated by pro-administration allies gave in to Duterte’s wish and elected Cayetano as Speaker.

READ: Vote of 266 for Cayetano leaves no doubt about Duterte persuasion

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TAGS: 18th Congress, Lord Allan Velasco
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