Cayetano apologizes to Duterte: Sorry if I misunderstood you
MANILA, Philippines — Outgoing House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano apologized to President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday for “misunderstanding” him when he thought that the chief executive wanted him to finish the budget deliberations before relinquishing his post.
In a Facebook live, Cayetano issued the apology as he announced his resignation as House Speaker, with Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco taking over his post.
“Ang pagkakaalam ko talaga, I was to handle the budget and I was told until matapos ‘yung budget para waling disruption and I invited Congressman Velasco to join me,” Cayetano said.
(Based on my understanding, I was to handle the budget and I was told until budget deliberations are finished so that there would be no disruption and I invited Congressman Velasco to join me.)
“Mr. President, if I made a mistake, mali ang reading ko, misunderstood ko na gusto mong ituloy at tapusin ko ang budget, ako’y humihingi ng paumanhin. Hindi ko intention—never—na hindi ka sundin,” he added.
(Mr. President, if I made a mistake, my reading was wrong, I misunderstood that you want to continue and finish the budget, I apologize. It was not my intention–never–not to follow you.)
Cayetano later repeated that it was him who misunderstood Duterte and that it is “on me, that’s not on the President.”
The leadership squabble between Cayetano and Velasco escalated that the President had to intervene and hold a meeting with the two lawmakers on September 29, to purportedly settle the matter. By the end of the talk, news broke that announced his resignation just as Velasco’s speakership election was being ratified in the plenary.
Cayetano offered to resign on September 30, but it was rejected by the majority of the House members. The Taguig-Pateros lawmaker’s allies claimed this rejection manifested the House members’ support of Cayetano’s continued leadership.
In his speech before he offered his initial resignation, Cayetano said that Velasco rejected Duterte’s plea to move the term-sharing agreement to December to make way for the proposed 2021 budget.
However, on October 9, Velasco claimed Duterte felt fooled by Cayetano’s supposed moves to retain his post despite the term-sharing agreement.
“I just wanna say because kitang kita ko ‘yung galit ng Pangulo. Sabi sa akin ni Pangulo, ‘Lord, hindi lang ikaw ang napahiya dito, tayong dalawa,’” Velasco said.
(I saw that the President was really mad. He told me, “Lord, you’re not the only one embarrassed here, but both of us.”)
“Actually, the President used the word ‘Lord, nadenggoy tayong dalawa (we were both fooled),” he added.
Under the term-sharing agreement, Cayetano would serve as Speaker in the first 15 months of the 18th Congress before he would be succeeded by Velasco who would serve for the next 21 months.
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