October 14 date for House leadership change not mentioned in meeting — Villafuerte
MANILA, Philippines — The October 14 date for the change of leadership in the House of Representatives was never mentioned during the meeting of Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano and Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco with President Rodrigo Duterte, a lawmaker said Wednesday.
In an interview with ABS-CBN News Channel, Deputy Speaker Luis Raymund Villafuerte, a supporter of Cayetano, said Duterte did not mention the October 14 date for the speakership change.
“No that was not clear because we were all there, including Cong. [Doy] Leachon, Cong. Velasco. The President expressed his desire to honor the term-sharing,” Villafuerte said, adding that Cayetano vowed to honor the agreement but pointing out that he cannot speak on behalf of his supporters.
According to Villafuerte, Duterte also spoke with Cayetano and Velasco during Tuesday night’s meeting for around 10 to 15 minutes to discuss the speakership issue.
“When they went out, sabi ni Speaker [Cayetano], tara let’s go out to a place and I’ll tell you what happened. Surprisingly after two minutes that happened, yung camp ni Lord Velasco probably sent—nakalagay na sa newspaper, ‘Breaking news, Lord Velasco is new Speaker’,” Villafuerte said.
(When they went out, Speaker Cayetano said, let’s go out to a place and I’ll tell you what happened. Surprisingly after two minutes that happened, Velasco’s camp probably told the media, it was stated in the newspaper, ‘Breaking news, Lord Velasco is new Speaker.’)
“How can you be the new Speaker, you still have to be voted upon?” he added.
Villafuerte further claimed that Duterte said he would let Cayetano speak first and announce to the public what happened.
“Ang nangyari, wala pang two minutes, bagong speaker na. Then nagkaroon na ng date na October 14. I was there, wala namang sinabi ang Presidente na October 14 even if you ask Presidential spokesman Harry Roque,”
Villafuerte added.(What happened was in just under two minutes, there was already a new speaker. Then there was an October 14 date. I was there, the President never mentioned October 14 even if you ask Presidential spokesman Harry Roque.)
Villafuerte said a female lawmaker announced the October 14 date in a Viber group chat. He, however, did not name the said lawmaker.
“I am 100 percent sure na hindi sinabi ‘yun. Ask Congressman Lord, Congressman Leachon, walang sinabi na date,” Villafuerte said.
(I am 100 percent sure that it was not said. Ask Congressman Lord, Congressman Leachon, no date was mentioned.)
But in an earlier interview, Oriental Mindoro 1st District Rep. Doy Leachon said it was both Velasco and Cayetano who decided on the date.
“‘Sana umabot ako na speaker pa rin ako ng birthday ko,’ sabi ni Speaker Cayetano, which will be on October 28. Sabi naman ni Cong. Lord Velasco, ‘E birthday ko rin kaso rin November 9 eh’,” Leachon said.
(Speaker Cayetano said, ‘Hopefully I am still the speaker on my birthday’, which is October 28. Cong. Velasco said, ‘My birthday is November 9.’)
“Both of them [decided on October 14],” Leachon said.
Leachon said that if the term-sharing agreement will be followed, it should have taken effect on Wednesday, September 30.
This, however, is not the case according to Villafuerte who argued that the term-sharing agreement will end on October 30.
“Mali ang mathematics nila… If you wanna be exact, October 22. Let’s get their numbers straight. Ano naman ang mag-antay ng 22 days. Why are they advancing it to October 14?” Villafuerte said.
(Their math is wrong… If you wanna be exact, October 22. Let’s get their numbers straight. What’s with waiting for 22 days. Why are they advancing it to October 14?)
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