House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano reportedly has no plans of relinquishing the speakership anytime soon to Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Jay Velasco even if his agreed term is only until October this year.
Politiko learned that Cayetano wants to scuttle the “15-21” term sharing deal with Velasco to control the P4.5-trillion national budget for 2021.
A source told Politiko that from “15-21,” Cayetano now wants the deal to be “18-18,” meaning he will serve as Speaker until December this year and Velasco will begin his term in January 2021.
Politiko’s source said Cayetano’s motivation for staying longer in his post was to ensure he and his allies call the shots in passing the 2021 General Appropriations Act (GAA). It’s common knowledge in Congress that it’s the Speaker who divides the spoils among lawmakers when it comes to the national budget.
The speakership row has come to the fore once again after Negros Oriental Rep. Arnolfo Teves Jr. questioned on Thursday (September 18) why Taguig, which is controlled by the Cayetanos, will be getting P8 billion for infrastructure projects next year while Camarines Sur, the bailiwick of Cayetano ally Rep. Luis Raymund Villafuerte, will have an P11.8-billion allocation.
Villafuerte described Teves “as the protege” of former Negros Occidental Rep. Albee Benitez, whom he claimed has “delusions of being a kingmaker to Velasco and titular head of the Visayas bloc of legislators even if he is no longer an incumbent representative from Negros.”