Cayetano, Velasco urged: Put speakership row to plenary vote  | Inquirer News
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Cayetano, Velasco urged: Put speakership row to plenary vote 

/ 10:37 AM October 13, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — ACT-CIS Partylist Rep. Eric Yap asked speakership rivals incumbent Alan Peter Cayetano and Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco to once and for all settle the issue and put it to a vote on Tuesday or else he and the majority would run the budget deliberations on their own.

Yap, who serves as the chairperson of the House committee on appropriations, made the call as the speakership issue continues to hound the House of Representatives even after Velasco was elected as House Speaker in a session that Cayetano and his allies have called a sham.

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“I suggested to them na tapusin natin. May time tayo, you have one hour to vote kung sino ang speaker,” Yap told INQUIRER.net in a phone interview on Tuesday.

Yap said he has made his appeal clear to both Cayetano and Velasco.

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In the case of Velasco, Yap met with him at the Celebrity Sports Club in Quezon City where the newly-installed Speaker’s camp gathered Tuesday morning to tackle the budget deliberations that will take place in the plenary in the afternoon.

“Kaya ako pumunta sa Celebrity kanina, I suggested kay Speaker Velasco na tapusin na nila ‘yung issue sa House. That means magbotohan na kung kinakailangan para kung manalo siya or manalo si Speaker Cayetano, e hindi na maguluhan ang taumbayan,” Yap said.

Yap, meanwhile, said he has also communicated his appeal to Cayetano on Monday.

“Sinabi ko rin kay Speaker Cayetano kahapon, nagbigay rin ako ng option sa kanya na budget and then sinabi ko mas maganda, magbotohan na para matapos na. Then sinabi ko ngayon kay Speaker Velasco, ganyan din,” the lawmaker said.

If Cayetano and Velasco would not be able to settle the speakership row, Yap said he would take over the budget deliberations.

“I am ready. Kung hindi sila magkakasundo, ako na ang gagawa ng—ako na magpapatakbo ng budget dahil I think I have  the support of the majority dahil yun naman ang utos ng Presidente,” Yap said.

“Pero kung mayroon kaming dalawang Speaker, we cannot finish the budget,” he added.

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Yap assured the public that the national budget remains as the top priority of the lower chamber, saying its passage will not be delayed.

“Sa public, wag silang mag-alala sa mga nababasa nila na dalawa ang speaker natin because they will settle their difference today. If they are not gonna settle their differences, I will take over, as appropriations chair, I will do the budget on my own with the majority,” Yap said.

The resumption of budget deliberations will take place a day after 186 lawmakers “elected” Velasco as the new Speaker of the House in a session conducted at the Celebrity Sports Club.

It is, however, unclear whether the election is deemed legal especially with Cayetano’s camp still insisting the proceedings conducted were illegal and the incumbent Speaker himself dubbing it as “fake.”

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque announced that Duterte called on Congress to a special session on October 13 to 16 “to avoid any further delays on its prompt passage.”

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TAGS: Alan Peter Cayetano, budget deliberations, House Speaker, Lord Allan Velasco
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