'Waste of time': Lawmaker hits Cayetano speech as budget hearings stalled
In this September 29,2020 photo posted by Sen. Christopher Lawrence Go (L), President Rodrigo Duterte meets with Rep. Lord Allan Velasco (Marinduque) and House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano (Taguig-Pateros)
Sen. Christopher "Bong" Go, released
'Waste of time': Lawmaker hits Cayetano speech as budget hearings stalled
Christian Deiparine (Philstar.com) - October 1, 2020 - 1:09pm

MANILA, Philippines — A lawmaker on Thursday lamented the wasted "legislative time" that Congress spent on Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano's speech where he offered to step down, suggesting that the House leader should have just went on Facebook Live instead. 

Members of Congress voted on Wednesday to reject Cayetano's move which was roundly condemned as merely a stunt, 184 to one not in favor and nine abstentions.

It was despite a resignation being subject to a House vote not being on the official rules of the chamber. 

PBA Party-list Rep. Jericho Nograles called Wednesday's incident as "absurd" amid a pandemic that has gripped the Philippines hard, with more than 311,000 infected and 5,500 dead. 

"It's something I cannot, in good conscience, participate and charge to taxpayers' time," he told ANC's Headstart. "We have so much to tackle in the budget..we don't have time in our hands."

Cayetano's speech had cost the House at least a day and a half in budget deliberations, Nograles, who refused to take a vote, added.

"No less than Speaker Cayetano said that he initially intented to speak before Facebook. He should have followed his gut feeling I suppose, rather than charge it to taxpayers' time," he said.

Another congressman, Buhay Party-list Rep. Lito Atienza, said the speaker's resignation Wednesday was no more than a "scripted telenovela" for him to continue clinging to his post. 

The House leader and Marinqudue Rep. Lord Allan Velasco entered a term-sharing deal for the speakership post back in 2019 brokered by President  Rodrigo Duterte, who heads another supposedly independent branch of government. 

Velasco took to social media late Wednesday night to respond to Cayetano's speech, saying his attacks "serve no purpose other than to perpetuate what is purely a personal agenda threatening to delay the passage of the budget."

The said agreement, which will take place on October 14, was to let Cayetano lead the House for 15 months, with Velasco taking the helm for the next 21 months or until June 2022. 

ALAN PETER CAYETANO HOUSE LEADERSHIP LORD ALLAN VELASCO PRESIDENT RODRIGO DUTERTE
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