Duterte warns vs violating deal on speakership sharing
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has cautioned Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano and Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco against violating the term-sharing deal that he brokered as an “agreement among men.”
“That’s the deal. That was an agreement. A solemn agreement between the three of us. If you want to use the vernacular, that was ‘usapang lalaki’,” the President told TV reporters in Davao City on Saturday.
He went on: “Now if anyone of them would not honor it, be it Lord Velasco or Peter Cayetano that is, that would be his decision.”
“But he has to take care that there is an agreement of sharing. If you violate it… That was what we agreed upon,” Duterte added.
He made the remarks when asked on the possibility that the agreement between Cayetano and Velasco might not be followed and if he was okay with it.
In July, the President brokered a deal between the two lawmakers with Cayetano as Speaker for the first 15 months of the 18th Congress and Velasco for the remaining 18 months.
However, Cayetano’s allies floated the possibility of doing away with the term-sharing deal, citing the Speaker’s high trust and approval ratings.
In an interview earlier this month, Cayetano admitted that he would like to retain his post until 2022.
However, the President said there would be a “problem” if Cayetano would not honor the deal.
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