184 lawmakers reject Cayetano’s offer to resign as Speaker
MANILA, Philippines — One hundred eighty-four (184) lawmakers on Wednesday voted to reject the resignation of Taguig-Pateros Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano as Speaker of the House of Representatives.
The voting comes after Cayetano offered his resignation as top leader of the lower chamber to make way for Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco to take the speakership.
One lawmaker, meanwhile, voted to accept Cayetano’s resignation while nine abstained from voting.
Legislators were supposed to be on their third day of plenary deliberations on the proposed 2021 national budget when Cayetano addressed his colleagues on the intensifying speakership row and offered to resign.
But Anakalusugan party-list Rep. Mike Defensor moved to reject Cayetano’s offer, and eventually, nominal voting among legislators ensued resulting in the refusal of the resignation bid.
On Tuesday night, President Rodrigo Duterte met with Cayetano and Velasco in an apparent move to iron out the skirmish on the speakership.
Sources said Velasco will take over as Speaker on October 14 but Deputy Speaker and Camarines Sur Rep. Luis Raymund Villafuerte, an ally of Cayetano, said the date was not mentioned during the meeting.
To recall, however, a gentleman’s agreement was brokered by the President in 2019 in which Cayetano was to serve as Speaker for the first 15 months of the 18th Congress while Velasco will serve as Speaker for the remaining 21 months.
Under the deal, Cayetano should relinquish the speakership to Velasco this October.
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