‘Unknown budget realignments,’ ‘unsavory’ remarks triggered House shakeup — solon
MANILA, Philippines — A lawmaker allied with Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano on Tuesday shed light on the recent shakeup in two of the most powerful committees at the House of Representatives.
Cavite Rep. Elpidio Barzaga, chair of the House committee on natural resources, said Cayetano decided to revamp the committees on appropriations, and the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal (HRET), after learning about certain budget realignments made without his knowledge, as well as some “unsavory” remarks made against the House leader.
Barzaga said Cayetano disclosed this during a meeting attended by National Unity Party (NUP) and the Nacionalista Party, two of the biggest parties in the lower chamber.
The meeting happened on the same day Davao City Rep. Isidro Ungab and Oriental Mindoro Rep. Salvador Leachon were replaced as chairmen of the appropriations and electoral tribunal committees, respectively.
When it comes to Ungab’s replacement, Barzaga cited budget realignments that Cayetano was unaware of as the reason behind the Davao solon’s ouster.
“Ang sabi niya (Cayetano), there are instances that there has been some realignment na hindi niya nalalaman. Ang sabi niya, there are instances that there has been some realignment na hindi niya nalalaman,” Barzaga, president of NUP, told reporters.
“Of course, the Speaker wants na kung anuman ang nangyayari sa House, especially when it comes to budget, there should be prior information to be given to the Speaker,” he added.
With regard to Leachon’s replacement, Barzaga said it appears that Cayetano took exceptions to some “unsavory” remarks by the former.
“Medyo hindi ata maganda ang statement ni Congressman Leachon in so far as the Speaker is concerned,” Barzaga said… And of course we expect that the Speaker — we have the so called primus inter pares, the first among equals —and being the Speaker, he’s entitled to some dignity in his position as Speaker, kaya as much as possible, we don’t want to make unsavory remarks in so far as our Speaker is concerned,” he said.
The shake up in the two committees’ leaderships happened amid alleged moves from the camp of the ruling PDP-Laban party led Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco to oust Cayetano from his post.
The quarrel only grew after a rumor circulated that there was a plan to unseat Cayetano. Villafuerte said that the camp of Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco was too eager to become the ruler over the House and disregard the term-sharing agreement set by President Rodrigo Duterte.
Velasco denied the alleged coup, saying that they respect the term-sharing agreement set by President Duterte in 2018.
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