Palace says Duterte wants House speakership term-sharing deal honored, but...
President Rodrigo Duterte has expressed hope that the term-sharing agreement for the speakership of the House of Representatives between Taguig City Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano and Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco would be honored, Malacanang said on Tuesday.
But Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, in a televised press briefing, quoting Duterte, also said that he could not do anything if Velasco could not muster the numbers in the House to replace Cayetano as speaker.
"I asked him (Duterte) last night and because he answered me, I will repeat his answer. He's hoping that the party will abide by what was agreed upon but if Congressman Lord Allan has no number, he can't do anything about it," he said of what Duterte told him when he met with him in Davao City on Monday.
"So the President is hoping that the Speaker and Congressman Velasco will honor their agreement but ultimately, the decision will be the decision of the individual congressmen," Roque added.
In 2019, Duterte, chairman of the ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan, arranged a term-sharing scheme between Cayetano and Velasco on the speakership to prevent the division of the coalition party in the House.
Based on the deal, Cayetano would serve as speaker for 15 months or until October this year while Velasco would lead the House for the remaining 21 months.
Recently, presidential son and Deputy Speaker Paolo Duterte raised the concern of some lawmakers about the supposed unfair distribution of funds in various congressional districts under the proposed 2021 budget.
Huge allocations reportedly go to areas whose congressmen were Cayetano's allies.
The younger Duterte has said that the members of Congress have the power to correct everything that they perceive as wrong happening within the Lower House or change leadership as they demand fair treatment and reforms. Celerina Monte/DMS