Solons cross party lines to flex support for ‘indispensable’ Cayetano
MANILA, Philippines — Several lawmakers from different party lines took to the plenary floor to show their support for the leadership of Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano, declaring they would back him for the 21 remaining months of the 18th Congress.
Caloocan 2nd District Rep. Edgar Erice of the Liberal Party was first to make his manifestation of support for the House leader, adding that Cayetano should finish his term as Speaker.
Erice said the term-sharing deal between Cayetano and Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco should “make way for the tested leadership” of Cayetano, considering that the country is facing a pandemic.
Under the term-sharing deal, which was brokered by President Rodrigo Duterte himself, Cayetano would serve as Speaker in the first 15 months of the 18th Congress while Velasco would succeed in the speakership for the remaining 21 months.
If this is to be followed, Cayetano’s term would end this October.
“In the interest of this House, and the interest of the Filipino people, who are in dire need of our prompt actions in confronting the pandemic I think this agreement should make way for the tested leadership of Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano,” he said.
Erice added that Velasco’s “aspirations” for the speakership can wait since Cayetano is “indispensable at this time.”
“I believe that Congressman Velasco will be most willingly sacrifice himself for the good of Congress and our people,” he said.
Cavite 2nd District Rep. Elpidio Barzaga of the National Unity Party likewise expressed his party’s support for Cayetano, saying that the NUP lawmakers would once again support the House Speaker for the remaining 21 months of the 18th Congress.
“Sa loob ng 15 buwan, siya ay ating sinamahan, binalangkas ang mga batas na kinakailangan ng ating bansa, pati na ang pagpapasa ng mga batas na kinakailangan ng ating Executive Department,” Barzaga said.
(In 15 months, we worked with him in crafting laws needed by the country.)
“Kaya sa nalalabing 21 buwan, katulad nung kami ay magsimula, muli na naman naming susuportahan ang liderato ni Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano,” he added.
(In the remaining 21 months, we will again support Cayetano.)
Anakalusugan Rep. Mike Defensor of the party-list coalition, meanwhile, apologized to President Duterte as party-lists would show their support for Cayetano despite the term-sharing agreement.
“I apologize to our President and I thank him for giving us independence. I will continue to support the leadership of Speaker Alan Cayetano,” he said.
In a statement, Cavite lawmakers described Cayetano as a “dependable ally” of the administration with a high approval rating among the public.
“In line with President Duterte’s thrusts to pursue socio-economic and political reforms, we believe that Speaker Cayetano’s competence, dedication and leadership will continue to be indispensable, as Congress works side by side with the President to pursue these thrusts,” the lawmakers said.
Other lawmakers who manifested their support include Bulacan 1st District Rep. Jonathan Sy-Alvarado, Misamis Occidental 2nd District Rep. Henry Oaminal, Ilocos Sur 1st District Rep. Deogracias Victor Savellano of the Northern Luzon Alliance. [ac]
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