It's final: Cayetano out as speaker as House formalizes election of Velasco
Rep. Lord Allan Velasco speaks at a House hearing in this undated photo.
Facebook/Lord Allan Jay Velasco
It's final: Cayetano out as speaker as House formalizes election of Velasco
Xave Gregorio (Philstar.com) - October 13, 2020 - 11:49am

MANILA, Philippines (Updated 12:57 p.m.) — Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano (Taguig-Pateros) has irrevocably resigned as speaker of the House of Representatives after the chamber formalized the election of Rep. Lord Allan Velasco (Marinduque) as the chamber's new speaker.

"Right now, verbally, I am tendering my irrevocable resignation as the speaker of the House of the Republic of the Philippines," Cayetano said in a Facebook Live video as 186 lawmakers voted to ratify Velasco's election during an informal session held Monday at Celebrity Sports Plaza in Quezon City.

Cayetano urged the Velasco faction to formally elect the Marinduque lawmaker as speaker during today's plenary session at 3 p.m., which was called for by President Rodrigo Duterte to pass the proposed 2021 national budget on time.

"You can elect at 3 o'clock. There would be no maneuvers, no political tactics happening there," Cayetano said in a mix of English and Filipino.

Lawmakers allied with Velasco, however, had already gained access to the House plenary hall at around 11 a.m. and resumed session to ratify his election as speaker.

Trading barbs 'till the end

After his election was formalized, Velasco took several jabs at Cayetano, accusing him of refusing to honor the term-sharing deal between them brokered by Duterte in 2019 and of being so power-hungry that he suspended deliberations on the proposed P4.5-trillion outlay for next year.

Velasco said the interest of the public was "sacrificed before the altar of personal greed and political ambition" and that proof of this is the "whimsical, illogical, irregular and immoral" suspension of session until November 16 by Cayetano and his allies.

"It did not matter to them that by doing so, the rights and needs of a suffering people were trampled and disregarded, ironically by the very people who are supposed to represent and safeguard their interests," Velasco said.

Cayetano also launched tirades against Velasco and his allies, warning them against "savaging" the institution.

He also still questioned Velasco's numbers, saying that he had up to 153 lawmakers backing him, while the other faction only had 121.

"All of that is under the bridge," Cayetano conceded. "Let's unite Congress."

Meeting with Duterte

The ratification of Velasco's election came before the meeting called for by Duterte with the Marinduque lawmaker and Cayetano at the Malacañang Golf Clubhouse on the passage of the proposed 2021 national budget.

This would be the president's third meeting with the two lawmakers who are both claiming to be the legitimate House speaker. Duterte had previously met with the two lawmakers on September 29 in an attempt to settle the term-sharing question, but this only led to the two warring factions issuing contradictory statements on what happened during the meeting.

Under the term-sharing agreement brokered by Duterte in 2019, Cayetano is to sit as House speaker for 15 months, ending this month, followed by Velasco for 21 months.

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES LORD ALLAN VELASCO
As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: October 19, 2020 - 6:02pm

Follow this thread for updates and the unfolding drama surrounding the struggle for leadership of the House of Representatives between factions of the administration coalition.

October 19, 2020 - 6:02pm

The minority bloc in the House of Representatives unanimously elects Rep. Joseph Stephen Paduano (Abang Lingkod Party-lit) as new minority leader.

The 22-member minority bloc says they will continue to support "legislations for the people through constructive criticisms and not as obstructionists."

"With the new leadership under Rep. Paduano, the Minority Bloc is assuring the House and the Filipino people that it will remain loyal to the principles that mould the group in fiscalizing and in providing a potent force to implement check and balance in the House of Representatives," the group says in a statement.

October 13, 2020 - 11:56am

Taguig-Pateros Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano, via Facebook Live, tenders his "irrevocable resignation" as speaker of the House of Representatives.

October 13, 2020 - 9:57am

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque says President Rodrigo Duterte has called Reps. Alan Peter Cayetano and Lord Allan Velasco to a meeting in Malacañang.

October 12, 2020 - 1:11pm

The gathering of House members at the Celebrity Sports Plaza in Quezon City has declared the post of speaker vacant and has elected Rep. Lord Allan Velasco (Marinduque) their speaker.

Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano has maintained that the gathering is a "fake session" and that elections can be held tomorrow, when the House resumes its session as called for by President Rodrigo Duterte.

The election for speaker under the '15-21' term-sharing agreement between Cayetano and Velasco would have been on the 14th but Cayetano moved to suspend the session early.

 

October 12, 2020 - 12:27pm

In a press conference at the House of Representatives, Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano (Taguig-Pateros) says he still has the support of 205 members of the House and calls the gathering at the Celebrity Sports Plaza a few kilometers away a "fake session."

He adds that if you add his 205 and the 187 claimed by the Velasco faction, that would be more than the 299 members of the House.

He stresses that President Rodrigo Duterte's call for Congress to hold a special session is to work on the budget bill.

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