Cayetano accuses Velasco of lying about term-sharing

Cayetano accuses Velasco of lying about term-sharing
Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano (Taguig) claimed that it was the camp of Rep. Lord Allan Velasco (Marinduque) who proposed a term-sharing for speakership at the House of Representatives.
Senate PRIB, file | Lord Allan Jay Velasco / Facebook

MANILA, Philippines — Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano (Taguig) accused his rival Rep. Lord Allan Velasco (Marinduque) of lying about a supposed term-sharing deal for speakership at the House of Representatives.

Velasco, the bet of majority party PDP-Laban for the speakership, earlier rejected the proposal as it would divide the lower chamber of Congress.

President Rodrigo Duterte himself had confirmed that there was an agreement between the two lawmakers where Cayetano would sit as speaker for the first 15 months while Velasco will take over the remaining 21 months.

Cayetano insisted that it was the camp of Velasco that proposed term-sharing for the top spot at the House.

"Sinabi ni Lord Velasco na walan naman ganoong usapan. So okay lang naman sa akin na magsinungaling siya because politicians lie," Cayetano told ANC's "Headstart" Monday morning.

According to Cayetano, the camp of Velasco "ran" to Duterte when they found out he was running for Congress and brought up that there was a "promise" that he would take over the House speakership after the term of Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (Pampanga).

Cayetano stepped down from his post as secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs when he declared that he would seek a seat at the House and expressed his intent to be the next speaker.

The former DFA chief said Velasco owes Duterte an apology for supposedly denying that there was a term-sharing agreement.

"I was watching him here but to call the president a liar by saying there is no such agreement, I will not take that sitting down. Congressman Velasco owes the president an apology and he owes the people na mas maging honest siya," Cayetano said.

Cayetano further claimed that the speakership row has been resolved during a meeting last week, where he talked with Velasco's wife Wen.

"Sabi niya (Wen) 'wag ka mag-alala kay Lord kasi mabait naman 'yan. Susunod 'yan sa napag-usapan natin," Cayetano said.

This was the same meeting where Duterte asked Arroyo to choose her successor as he does not want to experience the "agony" of choosing the next House speaker.

Last week, Sen. Manny Pacquiao announced that majority of the lawmakers of PDP-Laban signed a manifesto of support for Velasco as House speaker for the full term of the 18th Congress.

Cayetano, meanwhile, claimed that at least 20 PDP-Laban lawmakers support his speakership bid. — Patricia Lourdes Viray

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