MEMBERS of the House of Representatives will honor the directive of President Rodrigo Duterte on the term-sharing deal between Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano and Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco, a House leader said Wednesday.
This came a day after the Chief Executive insisted that he would keep his hands off the “gentleman’s agreement” between the two lawmakers.
“The President said, ‘Let the parties decide and let Allan or Lord decide.’ That’s the context,” Deputy Speaker Luis Raymund “LRay” Villafuerte said in a television interview.
“Our stand is we will follow the President regarding the term-sharing. If that’s what the President wants, we will follow him,” he added.
Villafuerte, an ally of Cayetano, noted that congressmen also want “continuity.”
“I will not be a hypocrite to say that even if Cong. Lord was the speaker now, we want continuity. What everybody is talking about now is if there is change, what will happen?” he added, attributing the delayed passage of the 2019 budget measure to the change in speakership.
In April this year, Duterte signed the P3.6-trillion 2019 budget but vetoed P95.3 billion worth of “unconstitutional insertions.”
Cayetano has assured Velasco that he still honors the term-sharing agreement despite previously stating that he is open to serve a full term as the leader of the House of Representative.
“[Velasco] should keep calm and use this time to prepare because the tasks of the House of Representatives, particularly of the speaker, can be very daunting,” Cayetano said.
Under the term-sharing deal, Cayetano has to step down as speaker after 15 months and shall be succeeded by Velasco for the remaining 21 months starting November 2020.