Cayetano tags Velasco in ouster plots against him
MANILA, Philippines — Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano has accused Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco of being involved not only in the recent coup attempt against him, but also in the three to four other attempts in the past.
Cayetano said Velasco has been plotting against him not only in the recent coup attempt but also “from the start.”
“He’s been involved not only here, but from the start,” Cayetano said in a radio interview on Monday, when asked if he thought Velasco was the brains behind the recent coup attempt against him.
“Hindi ako paikot-ikot. He’s been involved and he’s involved in the intrigue sa Congress. So, ang usapan namin, during my time, suportahan niya ‘ko. During his time, suportahan ko siya. Pero hindi talaga ako nakatikim ng suporta sa kanya e,” Cayetano said.
(I am not beating around the bush. He’s been involved and he’s involved in the intrigue in Congress. During my time, we agreed that he will support me and during his time as Speaker I will support him. But I never even got any sign of support from him.)
Presidential son and House Deputy Speaker Paolo Duterte earlier warned he would move to declare as vacant the positions of Speaker and Deputy Speakers amid ongoing speakership row fueled by the “disparity” in infrastructure budget allocations in their respective districts.
However, this did not come to fruition on Monday when the session ended early.
The whole issue began when Negros Oriental Rep. Arnolfo Teves, Jr. questioned the distribution of funds between congressional districts, particularly those of Cayetano in Taguig City and Deputy Speaker Luis Raymund Villafuerte in Camarines Sur.
Cayetano said this has been the third or fourth coup attempt against him plotted by Velasco and his allies since Cayetano assumed the speakership.
“I think, pangatlo, pang-apat na coup attempt na nila ‘to e. Tingin ata nila na padamihan ng attempt at, finally, kapag maraming attempt, makukuha nila,” he said.
(I think this is the third or fourth coup attempt. Maybe they think that the more attempts they make, they will finally get it in the end.)
Cayetano, however, said he is willing to step down from his post if House members no longer want him as their leader.
“But you know, as I said, once na hindi na ako gusto, whether it’s by the coalition or by the President, hindi na nila kailangan ako i-coup d’etat e, usap lang ‘yan,” he said.
(But you know, as I said, once they don’t want me anymore, whether it’s by the coalition or by the President, they don’t need to oust me, we just need to talk.)
To recall, in July 2019, President Rodrigo Duterte said Cayetano would serve as House Speaker in the first 15 months of the 18th Congress while Velasco would succeed to serve for the remaining 21 months under a term-sharing agreement.
If this is to be followed, Cayetano’s term would end in October this year.
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