Cayetano apologizes amid speakership row; says Velasco apology 'hilaw, insincere’ | Inquirer News

Cayetano apologizes amid speakership row; says Velasco apology ‘hilaw, insincere’

/ 06:27 PM October 06, 2020


MANILA, Philippines — Calling Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco’s earlier apology as “insincere,” Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano apologized to Filipinos on Tuesday as the speakership issue continues to hound the lower chamber while the proposed 2021 budget is being deliberated amid the coronavirus pandemic.

In a speech delivered before his colleagues, Cayetano apologized that the speakership issue is being discussed “at this time,” as he once again took a jab at Velasco regarding their term-sharing agreement.


“I’m sorry to our people that we had to this at this time. Kung sumunod lang siya sa usapan na November ang palitan. Kung marunong lang siyang magbilang na hanggang October talaga ako, edi wala sanang problema,” Cayetano said.


(If he only followed our agreement that turnover is November, if he knew how to count that my term is until October, then we should not have had problems.)

“Pero masyado nang atat na pumunta dito, wala namang may akalain na magkaka-COVID,” the House Speaker added.

(But he’s too excited to take over, no one expected there will be COVID pandemic.)

Cayetano likewise called Velasco’s earlier apology to Filipinos over the speakership issue as “hilaw and insincere.”

“Unlike Cong. Velasco, whom I think his apology is hilaw and insincere. Why? E nag-sorry ka, banat nang banat ang mga tao mo tungkol sa budget, nang-iintriga kayo tungkol sa budget,” Cayetano said.

(Unlike Cong. Velasco, whom I think his apology is raw and insincere. Why? He apologized but his camp kept on making remarks about the budget.)


To recall, Velasco apologized to President Rodrigo Duterte and the public for the speakership dispute, saying that Filipinos do not deserve it.

“To the Filipino people whom we have promised to serve, I express my deep apology on behalf of my colleagues in Congress because you don’t deserve this. Bilang halal ng bayan at inyong lingkod bayan kayo ay dapat pagsilbihan. Humihingi po ako ng paumanhin at ng pang-unawa,” he added.

(As we are elected officials and public servants, we should be serving you. I’m asking for forgiveness and understanding.)

Under the term-sharing 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 as the turnover date approached, questions on whether the term-sharing agreement would push through surfaced.

President Rodrigo Duterte even met with both Cayetano and Velasco to settle the speakership row where it was reportedly discussed that the Marinduque lawmaker will take over the post starting October 14.

The following day, Cayetano offered to resign but this was immediately rejected by his colleagues.

Cayetano’s allies in the lower chamber have claimed that the rejection of the House Speaker’s resignation offer manifests the support for his continued leadership.

But Velasco’s camp has insisted, on multiple occasions, that Cayetano follow the agreement.


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