‘It’s the wish of the President’: Lawmakers to back Cayetano’s House bid on July 22
MANILA, Philippines – With the endorsement of the President, lawmakers will “surely” be voting for Taguig City-Pateros Representative Alan Peter Cayetano for house speaker.
At the sidelines of Senator Manny Pacquiao’s boxing match viewing party in Makati on Sunday, July 21, Pampanga 3rd District Representative Aurelio “Dong” Gonzales Jr said that all 85 PDP-Laban congressmen will be supporting Cayetano.
“It’s the wish of the President. So tomorrow, Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano,” Gonzales told reporters.
Gonzales said that his party-mate, Marinduque Representative Lord Allan Velasco, has already accepted the term-sharing agreement.
“Si Speaker Lord, nakikipag-coordinate naman po kami sa kampo ni Speaker Cayetano...Kasi malinaw na malinaw, si [Congressman] Lord sinasabi rin ‘yun na term-sharing po ang gusto ni Presidente,” Gonzales said.
(Speaker Lord is coordinating with the camp of Speaker Cayetano. It’s very clear, even Congressman Lord, he’s saying that term-sharing is what the President wants.)
Asked whether Presidential son and Davao City Representative Paolo Duterte is interested in the top House post, Gonzales said that he doesn’t think so.
“Palagay ko hindi na po kasi meron na pong statement ang ating Pangulo na ‘yung tatlong contender nirerespeto ‘yun,” the Pampanga lawmaker said.
(I don’t think so because the President already issued a statement that the 3 contenders respected.)
Ahead of the opening of 18th Congress, Duterte organized a breakfast on Monday with lawmakers at the same time as Cayetano’s.
In a separate media interview, Senate President Vicente Sotto III said that all members of the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) will be supporting the Taguig congressman too.
“As we speak, I am informed that the members of the NPC will be all supporting Senator Alan Peter Cayetano,” Sotto said.
Sotto said that 41 NPC members will be voting for Cayetano.
Apart from PDP-Laban and NPC, the party-list bloc is supporting Cayetano “for now,” as long as the latter follows through on his promise of granting 20% of leadership positions to them.
The top 3 contenders for House Speaker were all Duterte allies: Cayetano, Velasco, and Leyte 1st district Representative Martin Romualdez.
After the President Rodrigo Duterte greenlighted the term-sharing deal between Cayetano and Velasco, Romualdez will become the House Majority Leader under the deal.
Under the agreement, Cayetano will serve as the speaker first for 15 months while Velasco will serve the remaining 21 months.
The election for the top House post will be finalized when the 18th Congress opens on Monday, July 22, ahead of the State of the Nation Address. – Rappler.com
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