Cayetano: Speakership term-sharing deal stays but I’ll wait Duterte’s instruction
CAPAS, TARLAC, Philippines — House Speaker Alan Cayetano said Wednesday his term-sharing deal with Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco stands but President Rodrigo Duterte — who had anointed him — has the final say.
Cavite 4th District Elpidio Barzaga Jr. earlier said Cayetano’s high trust and approval rating from a September Pulse Asia survey may prompt House members to support his reign at the fourth-highest elective post in the government.
“Salamat sa mga comments na ganun but siguro focus tayo sa trabaho na lang muna (Thank you for these comments but let’s focus on our work first). No use to talking about something na malayo pa eh (that’s still far),” the Taguig-Pateros representative said in an interview after his inspection at the New Clark City sports hub in this town for the 30th Southeast Asian Games in November.
“But wala naman dapat ikaba ‘yung kahit sino kasi nga lahat naman tayo ay sumasang-ayon na ang Pangulo ang magde-decide (No one should be afraid because all of us agree that the President has the final say), and so far meron siyang standing na decision so so far, that stands,” he added.
Under the term-sharing agreement backed by President Rodrigo Duterte, Cayetano would serve for the first 15 months from July 2019 to October 2020 while Velasco would take-over the remaining 21 months of the three-year term.
But Cayetano also said he would consult Duterte a few months before his term ends as leader of the “die-hard Duterte supercoalition or supermajority.”
“So I promised the President I’ll do a good job and then one month, two months before ‘yung middle o ‘yung pinag-usapan, I’ll go to him for instructions. So kung ano instructions ni Pangulo ‘yun ang masusunod (We’ll follow whatever the President’s instructions would be),” Duterte’s running mate in the 2016 elections said.
“At lahat naman kami si Majority Leader Martin Romualdez and si Cong. Velasco all agreed dito (All of us, even Majority Leader Martin Romualdez and Cong. Velasco agreed on this),” he added.
Cayetano earlier received a 62 percent trust rating and 64 percent approval rating in the September survey of Pulse Asia. The National Unity Party headed by Barzaga said this was the highest received by a Speaker and the first time a Speaker rated higher than the Vice President under the Duterte administration. /muf
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