Cayetano meets with NP, NUP lawmakers to discuss speakership | Inquirer News
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Cayetano meets with NP, NUP lawmakers to discuss speakership

/ 11:38 PM March 02, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano sat down with lawmakers from the Nacionalista Party (NP) and the National Unity Party (NUP) on Monday night to discuss issues and concerns over the speakership.

Cayetano, who met with the House members inside the Andaya Hall for over two hours, said that he had explained recent events like supposed plans to overthrow him from the speakership seat.

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According to him, he told lawmakers that they were free to remove him if they did not agree with his policies.

“To explain recent events and also to have a question and answer.  Basically, it’s simple: If they like the direction and like the reforms, I’m here to continue to serve,” he said partly in Filipino in an ambush interview after his meeting.

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“Now if they do not want me, they’re free to remove me,” he added.

He is set to talk with other House members from the Lakas-CMD, and even PDP-Laban, the party of his speakership rival, Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco.

Earlier, PDP-Laban spokesperson and Deputy Speaker Johnny Pimentel said that they would be willing to sign a manifestation of support to Cayetano, aside from talking to him to clear issues.

According to the Speaker, they also discussed some problems being encountered in the deliberation of bills, both in the committee and plenary level.

Cayetano slammed two of his critics — Albay 1st District Rep Edcel Lagman and Buhay party-list Rep. Lito Atienza — for claiming that the House leadership had been delaying some bills when they had been the ones moving for the suspension of interpellation and discussions.

“And we have already talked about targets for the year.  There’s so much intrigue ongoing, but we want to shy away from politics and start working,” he said.

Recently, Cayetano said that the ABS-CBN franchise issue and the budget discussions were being used by the Velasco camp to sway lawmakers and unseat him from office.  Cayetano said that at least 20 lawmakers had admitted being promised of various posts once Velasco is in-charge.

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On Monday morning, Atienza said that Cayetano’s talk of a possible plot to unseat him from office was merely a bit of drama, as Velasco would not do such a thing.  He also said that Cayetano would declare all House posts vacant, and call for an election allegedly geared to nullify the term-sharing agreement.

Velasco also shunned talks of a coup, saying that he respected the agreement.

Before the 18th Congress convened, Cayetano, Velasco, and Majority Floor Leader Martin Romualdez squared off for the House speakership race.  Romualdez settled for his current post, but President Rodrigo Duterte had to intervene and fix an agreement between Cayetano and Velasco.

In the end, Cayetano got the first 15 months while Velasco will have the remaining 21 months.  If Duterte’s formula is followed, Cayetano’s term would expire around late October.

READ: Velasco denies hatching plot to oust Cayetano

READ: Cayetano to alleged House coup plotters: Man up, shut up

READ: Atienza says Cayetano to declare House posts vacant, call for polls

But if ever he pushed for the things that Atienza mentioned, Cayetano said that it would have no bearing as the agreement would still be in place.

“First of all, it has no logic. If I declared all seats vacant earlier and re-elected everyone, that has no connection whatsoever to the switch in November.  Now, if there were elections a while ago, it would only be a change in the committee chairpersons,” Cayetano explained.

“But yes, in November we would switch roles.  That’s why I cannot understand their logic. They have become entangled in their own propaganda,” he added.

/atm

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TAGS: Alan Peter Cayetano, House coup, House of Representatives, Lord Allan Velasco, speaker coup, Speakership, term sharing
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