Cayetano dares Velasco: ‘If you have the numbers, show me’
MANILA, Philippines — Seeking to finally settle the speakership squabble, Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano on Wednesday challenged Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco to show him that he indeed has the numbers to be elected at the helm of the House of Representatives.
In a Facebook live, Cayetano said Velasco should not only go by words that he has the numbers to become Speaker and instead back it up with signatories from the members of the lower chamber.
“Eto lang advice ko kay Cong Velasco, kapag ang pabaon mo ay salita, ang iuuwi mo ay balita. Hindi pwedeng salita lang kasi dito sa rules sa House of Representatives, you need majority of all members of Congress to elect a Speaker and we’re in the middle of the crisis,” Cayetano said.
(Here’s my advice to Cong. Velasco: If what you have is words, you will bring home news. Words are not enough because under the rules of the House of Representatives, you need majority of all members of Congress to elect a Speaker and we’re in the middle of the crisis.)
“Ilang linggo na pinag-uusapan ang speakership. Pwede bang tanggalin na natin sa topic ‘yan? Tapusun na natin, may numero ka, ipakita mo sakin. Wala kang numero, tumulong ka sa budget. Start going to work, pumasok ka na, welcome ka dito, welcome lahat kayo,” he added.
(We have been talking about the speakership for weeks. Can we finally settle this topic? Let’s end this. If you have the numbers, show me. If you don’t have the numbers, help with the budget. Start going to work, all of you are welcome here.)
Cayetano, a former senator, said that in the Senate, it is a lot simpler as it only takes 13 signatures compared to the House which currently has 299 members.
“Dito [sa House]… kung mayroon kang more than 150 na listahan, ipakita lang. Gentleman naman tayo. Ang hirap kasi yung nanggugulo, chaos, intrigue, you have the numbers, we have the numbers e kahit ilang beses akong magpapirma dito, pumipirma,” Cayetano said.
(Here in the House, if you have more than 150 in your list, just show it. We are gentlemen here. It is difficult when there’s chaos and intrigue but every time I ask them to sign, they do it.)
“Kapag sa kabila, kay Cong. Velasco, panay salita, walang warm bodies, walang pangalan. Why don’t you ask them to sign na categorically, sila na, dalhin mo dito 160, 165 yung listahan iche-check ko lang kung wala ring nakapirma sa akin,” he added.
(In Velasco’s side, they are all words. There are no bodies, no names. Why don’t you ask them to sign categorically? Bring your list here of 160 to 165 lawmakers and I will check if they have not signed in mine.)
The camps of both Cayetano and Velasco have been claiming that they have the numbers to prevail in the speakership race.
The feud over the top House leadership was expected to be settled on October 14. However, Cayetano and his allies on Tuesday moved to suspend the session until November 16.
Under the term-sharing agreement brokered by President Rodrigo Duterte himself in 2019, Cayetano should only serve as Speaker in the first 15 months of the 18th Congress while Velasco should succeed him and serve as Speaker for the remaining 21 months.
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