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Cayetano, Nacionalista Party throw ‘unequivocal support’ to Velasco

/ 03:37 PM October 15, 2020

Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano, with wife Lani standing beside him, dines with his allies at a Makati restaurant shortly after he was replaced as Speaker last Oct. 13. Among the House members with him were Representatives Dong Gonzales, Michaela Violago, Johnny Pimentel and Jun Jun Ferrer. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — With the speakership squabble now over, Nacionalista Party (NP), the political party of Taguig-Pateros Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano, has registered its support to newly-installed Speaker Lord Allan Velasco.

In an interview with reporters, Surigao del Norte 2nd Dist. Rep. Robert Ace Barbers, a member of NP, said the political party met with Velasco on Wednesday where they submitted a manifesto expressing support towards the new top leader of the House of Representatives.

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Barbers said among the signatories to the manifesto is Cayetano.

“The whole Nacionalista Party dito sa Congress ay nagbigay ng pahayag through a manifesto of support para kay Speaker Lord Allan Velasco and lahat ng miyembro ng Nacionalista Party ay pumirma dito at nagpapatunay at nagpapahayag ng kanilang unequivocal support sa leadership ng ating mababang kapulungan through Speaker Lord Allan Velasco,” Barbers said.

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Barbers cited the term-sharing agreement between Velasco and Cayetano when asked about the reason behind the political party’s decision to throw its support to the newly-installed Speaker.

“The agreement was to transition to a new Speaker. At doon naman sa meeting with the President, both Congressman Velasco and Congressman Alan Cayetano ay siguro mayroon na silang napag-usapan doon,” Barbers said.

Barbers likewise belied claims that members of the party will become a member of the lower chamber’s minority bloc following the speakership row.

“I don’t think there’s a possibility that Speaker Alan will become a member of the minority kasi sa ngayon sa aming manifesto, very clear na sinasabi namin doon bilang isang bloke, isang grupo, na pinangungunahan ni former Speaker Alan na kami ay sumusuporta ngayon kay Speaker Lord Velasco,” Barbers said.

“There is no truth to the rumor that we will become minority,” he added.

In a statement, Las Piñas City Rep. Camille Villar, daughter of NP President Manuel Villar, also expressed support for Velasco’s leadership.

“Amid the recent development in the House of Representatives, the Nacionalista Party remains steadfast in supporting the legislative agenda of the President as his government endeavors to bring solution to the problems of the country, especially now that we are in the middle of the pandemic,” Villar said.

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“With a robust leadership backed by a pro-active Cabinet,  we believe that the country is in a better position to rise from the challenges of this pandemic and ultimately, facilitate the delivery of the cure against COVID 19,” she added.

Villar said the political party “extends its collaborative hand to the new House leadership and vows to work closely with their team to ensure the success of the President’s legislative and economic agenda.”

On Monday, 186 lawmakers ousted Cayetano from the speakership and elected Velasco as the new top leader of the lower legislative body.

Majority of the legislators ratified Velasco’s win the following day leading to Cayetano’s resignation as Speaker.

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TAGS: Alan Peter Cayetano, House of Representatives, Lord Allan Velasco, Nacionalista Party, Politics
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