Duterte: Cayetano, Velasco to share term as House Speaker
Robie de Guzman • July 8, 2019 • 1172
MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday announced that his bet for the Speaker of the House of Representatives of the 18th Congress is Taguig-Pateros Representative Alan Peter Cayetano, who will share the term with Marinduque Representative Lord Allan Velasco.
In a statement, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo confirmed that Duterte made the announcement after the three speakership candidates sought the assistance of the President to settle the conflict among them.
The chief executive earlier distanced himself from the speakership race, but leading candidates for the post and other solons persistently asked him to pick his bet.
“Since the election of the Speaker has resulted in a bitter and fractious rivalry that threatens the break-up of political allies, the President, to save the unity of the alliance and avert its fragmentation, obliged to the request of the three candidates,” Panelo said in a statement.
The Palace official said it was decided that Cayetano would serve as speaker first, to be succeeded by Velasco.
“It’s Allan Cayetano as the Speaker in the first 15 months, then the next 21 months, the Speaker will be Lord Allan Velasco,” Panelo said.
The president also said that Leyte Representative Martin Romualdez will serve as the House Majority Floor Leader.
Velasco’s bid for the top House position was endorsed by the president’s political party, PDP-Laban.
The issue on term-sharing was first brought up by Cayetano, who claimed this set up was suggested and approved by Duterte himself when he met with speaker aspirants during a recent trip in Japan.
However, Velasco denied agreeing to such a deal, saying this would weaken the speakership itself and slow down the work at the lower chamber.
Romualdez also rejected the idea of term-sharing for the same reasons.
Panelo said Velasco and Romualdez have agreed to respect the president’s decision on the matter.
House members are set to elect the next Speaker when the session of the 18th Congress officially opens in the morning of July 22, the same day when Duterte will deliver his fourth State of the Nation Address.
MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang on Monday said that President Rodrigo Duterte will not interfere with the row between Duterte Youth Party-list nominee Ronald Cardema and Commission on Elections (Comelec) Rowena Guanzon.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said Cardema and Guanzon’s feud is between the two of them.
He added that the president will not meddle in the issue as he respects the independence of Comelec and other constitutional bodies.
“The case between Mr. Cardema and Commissioner Guanzon, I think it’s between the two of them,” he said.
“Moreover, the President respects the independence of any constitutional body. The President has not and will not interfere on any function of the Commission as well as other constitutional bodies,” he added.
Guanzon has been vocal about her opposition to Cardema’s nomination as the Duterte Youth Party-list representative and accused the latter as the one behind the threats against her.
Cardema, in turn, accused Guanzon of extortion, which she denied.
The Commissioner also dared the former to file an impeachment case against her.
The feud between the two follows the decision of the poll body’s first division to cancel Cardema’s nomination as representative of the Duterte Youth party because the law states that youth representatives must be from 25 to 30 years old.
Instead of having word war, Panelo advised Cardema to file an appropriate complaint against Guanzon to settle the issue. (with details from Rosalie Coz)
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