Duterte wants to talk to Cayetano, Velasco over speakership issue
President Rodrigo Duterte wants to talk with House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano and Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco who earlier agreed for a term-sharing in the speakership, a Palace official said on Monday.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, in a virtual press briefing, said Duterte expressed his intention last week when he was in Davao City.
"The President said perhaps he will talk to Speaker Cayetano and Congressman Lord Allan Velasco. But I cannot say if it is scheduled for this week," he said.
There were reports that Duterte would meet with the two lawmakers on Tuesday in Malacanang.
Roque said he has yet to check on this as the schedule of the President that he received contained private meetings.
Despite the independence of Congress, in 2019 Duterte decided to interfere on the leadership issue in the House of Representatives to prevent the division among his allies.
To settle the issue, he asked Cayetano and Velasco for a term-sharing deal where Cayetano would be the Speaker for the first 15 months or until this month, while Velasco for the remaining 21 months.
However, there were reports Cayetano wants to hold on to speakership as more congressmen reportedly have been supporting him.
Quoting Duterte, Roque said he wanted that the term-sharing agreement be honored, but if Velasco could not get enough number of supporters from the House, he could not do anything about it. Celerina Monte/DMS