‘Supermajority’ of solons want Cayetano to stay; Velasco inactive, mum on issues –Villafuerte
MANILA, Philippines — The “supermajority” of congressmen want House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano to continue instead of letting Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco, who was supposedly not active in any major issue, to take over, Deputy Speaker and Camarines Sur Rep. LRay Villafuerte said Tuesday.
“If you will ask the congressmen now, the supermajority of congressmen now would like Speaker Alan Cayetano to continue,” Villafuerte said in an interview over ABS-CBN News Channel.
“Nakita niyo naman yung performance ng Congress kahit may break nagtratrabaho, tumaas ang rating. Highest rating ever for the House of Representatives, everybody happy. Kung meron mang magreklamo, one or two people which the Speaker will resolve,” he went on.
(You saw the performance of Congress, we work even though we’re under a break, the ratings increased—highest rating ever for the House of Representatives. Everybody happy. If ever there is anyone complaining, just one or two people which the Speaker will resolve.)
Under the term-sharing deal brokered by President Rodrigo Duterte, Cayetano will serve as House speaker for 15 months before Velasco replaces him and leads Congress for the remaining 21 months.
Should the President let congressmen resolve the House speakership row, Villafuerte said he believes Velasco will not stand a chance in terms of numbers.
“Definitely not,” Villafuerte said when asked if Velasco will be able to put up a good fight against Cayetano.
“With all due respect to Congressman Lord, ever since that there was an announcement of 15-21 (term-sharing), he was never really active in Congress,” he added.
Velasco should have partnered with Cayetano when he was declared as the replacement for the latter, Villafuerte noted.
“I haven’t seen or heard Congressman Lord be active in any major issue. We don’t see him in Congress. It was really his choice not to be the presumptive speaker. The congressmen now are saying we’d rather let Speaker Alan to continue because he’s active, he performs, he’s qualified, these are the general sentiments of congressmen,” he said.
Asked about Duterte’s “kawawa naman si Lord” (poor Lord) remark, Villafuerte said it must be because he would prefer Cayetano to continue as House Speaker.
“I don’t want to speculate what that means for me personally, when he says that, Alan should continue, kawawa naman si Lord na hindi siya makaka-take over (poor Lord he cannot take over). That’s my personal view. I cannot really clearly, categorically interpret what those words are,” he said.
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