Two ranking House members believe that Congress should just trash the term-sharing deal between Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano and Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco brokered by President Rodrigo Duterte three months ago.
In a news forum, Anakalusugan Party-list Rep. Michael Defensor said the House was doing “very well” under the leadership of Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano who agreed to step down after 15 months or by October 2020 to give way to Velasco for the remaining 21 months of the 18th Congress.
“Napakaganda ng takbo ng Kongreso. So why would we change the direction and track of Congress and our country when we are doing very well?” Defensor said.
Defensor said it was possible that a leadership change would lead to a confusion and impact on Duterte’s legislative agenda. “You know, politics is politics. When you have a change of leadership, there will be changes along the way, including the other committees. Adjustment na naman,” Defensor said
ACT-CIS Rep. Eric Go Yap felt that if Cayatano would step down after 15 months, the Speakership should be up for grabs and not fall on the laps of Velasco.
“Ang stand namin dito ay kung magkakaroon ng sinasabing term-sharing, magkakaroon ng election siguro para sa Speakership. Kung sino ang maboboto ng majority, sya yung magiging next Speaker natin,” Yap said.
He said elections were needed because there was no signed agreement on term-sharing, and the agreement was only a verbal agreement among the concerned parties.
He also noted that when they voted last July for the Speakership, they were never consulted on the issue of term-sharing.
The lawmaker said it should be the House members who should decide on who should be their Speaker.
“Sa akin naman kasi nasa members yan. Kung yung iba gusto nila ng election, kung gusto niila pumili ng Speaker, nasa sa kanila iyon. Basta ako, isang boto lang naman ako. So kung ano ang mapagkasunduan ng majority, susunod naman tayo,” Yap said.
Duterte brokered the term-sharing agreement between Cayetano and Velasco in the run-up to the Speakership election on July 22.
Under the agreement, Cayetano would hold the post for 15 months, or up to October next year, after which Velasco takes over.
In the same agreement, Romualdez, who was also a strong contender for the Speakership, will be the House Majority Leader of the 18th Congress for three years.