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Palace: Duterte won’t interfere in House leadership issues unless asked

By: - Reporter / @KAguilarINQ
/ 03:43 PM February 27, 2020
Panelo

Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo. Philippine Daily Inquirer file photo / JOAN BONDOC

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte will not interfere with the leadership issues between House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano and Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco unless he is asked to “settle” it for them, Malacañang said Thursday.

Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said Cayetano and Velasco should just resolve the issue between themselves since it is an “internal” affair of Congress.

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“Walang advice ang pangulo. Kung ano yung pinagkasunduan nila, eh ‘di sila ang dapat na mag-resolve non,” Panelo said in a press briefing.

(The President has no advice. They should resolve amongst themselves whatever they previously agreed with.)

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The President endorsed a term-sharing between Cayetano and Velasco for the House speakership, with the former serving as Speaker for the first 15 months or up to October this year. Velasco will then serve as Speaker in the remaining months.

“The President does not interfere. Paulit ulit na nating sinasabi yan. That’s the internal affair of the Congress. Hindi siya makikialam dyan unless you ask him to settle whatever riff they have if there is any,” Panelo added.

(The President does not interfere. We’ve always been telling that. That’s the internal affair of the Congress. He does not meddle unless you ask him to settle whatever rift they have if there is any.)

Cayetano earlier claimed Velasco is promising budget allocation and chairmanship to some members of Congress’ lower chamber.

But prior to his pronouncement, Velasco already issued a statement denying his involvement in any supposed coup against Cayetano.

Panelo said the alleged coup plot could just be the “perception” of Cayetano and perhaps, he is just offering House members the choice of changing leadership.

“Maybe that is only the perception of Speaker Alan Cayetano,” Panelo said. “I think, ang tingin ko kay Speaker Cayetano, he was more challenging the members of the Congress. If you’re not satisfied with me, eh ‘di gawin niyo yung gusto niyo [then do what you want].”

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“In other words, if you are disagreeing with my style of leadership eh ‘di palitan niyo ako. Eh mukha namang hindi hindi kuntento [But it looks like they’re contented]. Mukhang satisfied naman yung mga miyembro from what I gathered,” he added.

Edited by JPV
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TAGS: Alan Peter Cayetano, House of Representatives, House speakership, Lord Allan Velasco, Malacañang, Palace
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