House supermajority wants speakership term-sharing junked

house supermajority wants speakership term sharing junked - House supermajority wants speakership term-sharing junked

THE HOUSE of Representatives supermajority wants Speaker Alan Peter S. Cayetano to keep his post instead of letting Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Q. Velasco take over under an original term-sharing deal.

The speaker enjoyed the trust of most congressmen amid a threat to unseat him over the inequitable share of lawmakers’ districts in next year’s national budget, Deputy Speaker Luis Raymund F. Villafuerte told the ABS-CBN News Channel on Tuesday.

“The supermajority of congressmen would like Speaker Alan Cayetano to continue,” the congressman from Camarines Sur said. He added that the House performance has improved under Mr. Cayetano’s leadership during the pandemic.

“Even during a break, it still works,” Mr. Villafuerte said. “Its rating increased, the highest rating ever for the House of Representatives.”

Mr. Cayetano will resolve the complaints from one or two lawmakers, he added.

Mr. Villafuerte said Mr. Velasco does not stand a chance without the intervention of President Rodrigo R. Duterte in the speakership. Mr. Velasco did not answer a phone call seeking comments.

The President brokered the term-sharing pact between Mr. Cayetano and Mr. Velasco in 2018. Mr. Cayetano will serve as speaker for 18 months up to October, while Mr. Velasco will get to keep the post for 21 months.

Presidential spokesman Harry L. Roque told an online news briefing on Monday that while Mr. Duterte hopes that both would honor the deal, he could do anything if Mr. Velasco does not have the support.

Some congressmen have complained of an inequitable share in the P4.5-trillion national budget for next year, threatening to delay the passage of the bill.

Presidential Son and House Deputy Speaker Paolo Z. Duterte at the weekend threatened to stage a coup against Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano after some lawmakers complained of inequitable shares for their districts in the 2021 national budget.

Mr. Duterte on Sunday said he had sent a message to a group of lawmakers on Viber that he would ask the Mindanao bloc of congressmen on Monday to declare the positions of speaker and deputy speakers vacant. That threat did not materialize.

Mr. Cayetano and his wife Lani represent the two legislative districts of Taguig City, while Mr. Villafuerte represents the second district of Camariñes Sur, a province ruled by the Villafuerte clan.

Mr. Villafuerte said they were not fighting for their own personal interests, adding that congressional districts’ needs vary. — Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza

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