Cayetano made the promise amid speculation that he and his supporters would not follow the presidential term-division recommendation, which most administration allies interpret as marching orders from the Chief Executive.
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Cayetano vows to obey Duterte’s wishes
Jess Diaz (The Philippine Star) - July 19, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Presumptive speaker Taguig Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano yesterday vowed to obey the wishes of President Duterte, who brokered a speakership term sharing between him and Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco.

Cayetano made the promise amid speculation that he and his supporters would not follow the presidential term-division recommendation, which most administration allies interpret as marching orders from the Chief Executive.

Under the arrangement, Cayetano will hold the position first for 15 months with Velasco taking over for the remaining 21 months of the speaker’s three-year term of office.

In a television interview, the incoming speaker kept up his defense of his proposal to lengthen the congressmen’s stay in office from three years to “four years with no term limit, or five years with term limit.”

His proposed new term will apply as well to senators, who stand to lose one-year to two years since their present tenure is six years.

Cayetano said the three-year term of House members and local officials is too short for these officials to implement meaningful reforms and projects.

But his 15-month share of the speaker’s three years is even shorter, although he intends to make the most out of it, he said.

Even then, Cayetano said he would follow the term sharing arrangement and would turn over the top House post to Velasco after 15 months.

Senate committees

Meanwhile, the issue on the Senate committee chairmanship distribution has finally been settled with Sen. Pia Cayetano taking the ways and means committee, Senate President Vicente Sotto III said yesterday.

“Sen. Pia Cayetano just made my life easier. She has agreed to be elected as ways and means comm chair!” Sotto posted on his Twitter account.

When asked by reporters whether the Senate committee chairmanships distribution was 100 percent solved, Sotto replied: “Madali na yun (It would be easy). By party and group affiliations yun.”

The ways and means committee has jurisdiction over matters relating to revenue, generally taxes and fees, tariffs, loans and other sources of revenue.

LP as opposition

Vice President Leni Robredo, who chairs the Liberal Party, wants the 18 LP congressmen to lead or be with the opposition in the House, Caloocan Rep. Edgar Erice said yesterday.

However, Erice said he and most of his LP colleagues want to join the pro-administration majority to be led by Cayetano.

“We will meet with the Vice President and Sen. Francis Pangilinan before Monday to discuss with them our plan and our options,” Erice said.

Robredo chairs LP and heads the unified political opposition, while Pangilinan is party president.

In the Senate, LP members are with the minority-opposition led by Sen. Franklin Drilon.   – With Cecille Suerte Felipe

ALAN PETER CAYETANO LORD ALLAN VELASCO RODRIGO DUTERTE
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