Duterte: Cayetano, Velasco to share term as House Speaker
Robie de Guzman • July 8, 2019 • 2076
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—President Rodrigo Duterte and Chinese President Xi Jinping both call for a “win-win” cooperation in commemoration of the 46th anniversary of Philippine-China relations.
The Philippine President expressed his gratitude for China’s assistance to the Philippines in the face of challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Philippine-China economic ties are of course the dynamic force that will continue to drive or bilateral relations forward,” Duterte told Xi in a statement.
“I am confident that my Administration’s Build Build Build program together with the Belt and Road Initiative, will reap long-term benefits for our peoples,” he added.
Meanwhile, in a letter addressed to Duterte, the Chinese president acknowledged that in recent years, with concerted efforts of both sides, Philippine- China relations have remained “healthy and stable.”
“I attach great significance to the development of China-Philippines relations, and stand ready to work with you in guiding our bilateral relations to move forward in a sustained and steady manner, so as to achieve greater win-win results and mutual benefits,” Xi said. AAC
MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte may reveal his plans for next year’s elections in December, his spokesperson Harry Roque said on Wednesday.
In a television interview, Roque said the public will likely know whether the president will file his certificate of candidacy when the period for substitution lapses in December.
“He keeps his plans very close to his chest. My advice to everyone is, you can speculate all you want but we’ll find out whether or not he’ll file his certificate of candidacy only in October,” he said.
“We’re not sure if October is the cutoff because there is a period for substitution in sometime December,” he added.
Roque earlier said that the president will “leave to God” the decision on whether to heed calls for him to run for vice president in 2022.
In a separate interview, Duterte said he is resisting calls for vice presidential run as he is “ready for retirement” after his term ends next year.
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