House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano seems to be taking comfort in the latest Malacanang pronouncement stating that President Rodrigo Duterte will not meddle after the House rejected his offer of resignation on Wednesday despite his term-sharing deal with Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco.
In a press release on Wednesday, the Speaker’s office said Malacañang “distanced itself” from the leadership row in the House of Representatives after Cayetano and his allies’ maneuver to stay in power.
“Stay out tayo dyan. No comment tayo dyan. That’s a purely internal matter of the House of Representatives,” Cayetano’s office quoted presidential spokesperson Harry Roque as saying. The Cayetano release implied that Roque was directly quoting Duterte.
The House on Wednesday rejected Cayetano’s resignation with a vote of 184-1, with nine abstentions.
The House had been thrown in turmoil after Cayetano accused Velasco of rejecting Duterte’s request that the term-sharing deal with Cayetano be extended to December in order not to disrupt the deliberations on the 2021 national budget.
In his speech, Cayetano said he was resigning to give Velasco a chance to prove he is ready to take the helm of the House.
Velasco, however, said Cayetano twisted the truth and that the deal was to pass the budget on or before October 14 and then have him take over as the new Speaker.