Solon urges lawmakers who can’t cooperate with Cayetano to resign from House posts
MANILA, Philippines — Members of the House of Representatives who cannot cooperate with the leadership of Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano should just resign from their House posts, Capiz 2nd District Rep. Fredenil Castro said Friday.
Castro noted that the lower chamber should pass the proposed P4.5-trillion national budget for 2021 and other urgent legislations on time, as the speakership dispute between Cayetano and Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco heats up.
“Let this call of Speaker Cayetano be echoed and re-echoed in this hall of the people and the entire Filipino nation. But those who cannot and will not join us in this task, as they are enslaved by their personal interest, I have one simple thing to say,” he said in a privilege speech.
“Dahil mahilig din naman sila manawagan sa palabra de honor, panindigan na nila ito (Since they are fond of invoking palabra de honor, they should stand by it themselves). Resign your leadership positions and let those who are willing to help and cooperate takeover. There is no shame in admitting defeat at the hands of the better foe but it is not fitting to be part of the team while betraying your colleagues and undermining the efforts of Congress,” he added.
Velasco earlier appealed for “palabra de honor” in upholding the term-sharing deal with Cayetano that was brokered by President Rodrigo Duterte in 2019. Under the agreement, Cayetano would serve as Speaker of the House in the first 15 months of the 18th Congress while Velasco would succeed to serve for the remaining 21 months.
But in his speech, Castro asked who among Velasco and Cayetano is more honorable.
“Let me ask you, my dear colleagues and the Filipino people, who is more not honorable? The man who stood with us and led us during one of the most troubled, critical, and difficult times in our nation’s history or someone who was nowhere to be seen when we were all working and struggling with our countrymen to help the country recover?” he said.
“Who is the more honorable, and who is the man who has honor? One who gave true value and meaning to the opportunity that the President and the members of this chamber gave him, or someone who simply wants to get the position without earning the right to get it?” he added.
On Wednesday, Cayetano offered to resign as House Speaker, but 184 lawmakers voted to reject his resignation.
For Castro, the majority of the House of Representatives will continue to vote for Cayetano as Speaker no matter how many times he resigns.
“Kaya ang tanong ngayon, sino na ang tunay na ambisyoso at kapit sa tuko sa position? ‘Yung taong kusang nagbibitiw ngunit pilit nating ibinabalik o ‘yung kasamahan natin na inaayawan na ng nakararami ngunit hindi pa rin tumitigil sa panggugulo?” he asked.
(So the question now is who the truly ambitious person is? The one who offered to resign but was retained by his colleagues or the one who is being rejected by many but does not stop creating a mess?)
“Sa aking palagay, maliwanag sa ating isipan ang lahat ng sagot sa mga katanungang ito, at sa bilang ng mga bumoto at sumuporta kay Speaker Cayetano, mukhang klaro rin sa mas nakararami kung sino ang tunay na walang palabra de honor, sino ang ambisyoso, at sino ang tunay na kapit-tuko,” he added.
(In my opinion, the answer to these questions is clear. Based on the number of those who voted and supported Speaker Cayetano, it is also clear to many the one who does not have palabra de honor and who is ambitious.)
Velasco is set to take over as Speaker of the House of Representatives on October 14, following a meeting between him, Cayetano, and their supporters with President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday to settle the speakership row. [ac]
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