NPC wants term-sharing deal between Cayetano, Velasco honored — Duavit
MANILA, Philippines — The Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) is for honoring the term-sharing agreement between incumbent Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano and Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco, the head of the political party’s contingent in the lower chamber said Friday.
In an interview with reporters, Rizal Rep. Michael John Duavit underscored the importance of “trust and confidence,” in insisting that the term-sharing agreement should be followed.
“I would say that we are solid based on our last meeting. For us, simple lang, we held our end of the bargain and the person that we deal with should hold him, should abide by the end of the bargain also,” Duavit said.
“If a person cannot hold up his end of the bargain, then it would be very difficult to work with a person like that,” he added.
Duavit said there are now only 40 members of the NPC in the House after Sorsogon Rep. Ma. Bernardita Ramos and Camarines Sur Rep. Marissa Andaya passed away.
Duavit likewise expressed disappointment over the removal of Quezon Rep. Angelina “Helen” Tan, a member of the NPC, as chairperson of the House committee on health, especially when putting her in the post was one of the manifestations of the “sharing of responsibility” in the House.
He believes that there is “no other reason for taking her out rather than politics.”
“We’re very disappointed that the House leadership saw fit to remove Mong Helen. We’re very very disappointed because she’s a highly performing representative,” Duavit said.
“We were committed to the term-sharing agreement. So, simple lang naman yan. It’s always been made out to be that the term-sharing agreement was all only between the President, Cong Martin, Cong Lord and Cong Alan. But we look at it very differently, when we had the term-sharing agreement, may mga events that necessarily follow,” he added.
Duavit said Cayetano is trying to “intimidate” their party.
However, Duavit said that the NPC was all for following the term-sharing agreement even before Tan was removed from her post.
Aside from Tan, several other House leaders were removed from their posts as casualties of the simmering speakership row.
First to take a hit was 1-Pacman Partylist Rep. Michael Romero, a Velasco supporter, who was stripped of his deputy speaker post.
This was followed by Tan, AAMBIS-OWA Partylist Rep. Sharon Garin, and Valenzuela City Rep. Eric Martinez who were also stripped of their committee chairmanship.
Garin chaired the committee on economic affairs, while Martinez chaired the committee on youth and sports development.
NPC backs resumption of session
Duavit said the NPC also joins calls for the resumption of session to tackle the proposed 2021 budget.
In an unexpected move, Cayetano earlier made a motion to terminate deliberations to the proposed 2021 budget and with the period of debates and amendments closed, the budget was approved on second reading.
Consequently, the session was suspended until November 16, meaning there would be no session on October 14 when the speakership issue was supposed to be settled.
“We’ve had indications from two of our members that are very highly compromised, health-wise, but other than that I think everyone is going to be here in Manila and ready to go,” Duavit said.
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