Those behind the “loose talks” on a speakership coup must have a “different agenda,” according to Deputy Speaker Johnny Pimentel.
The Surigao del Sur lawmaker and PDP-Laban spokesman slammed rumors that Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco is plotting to stage a coup against Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano, saying it’s not PDP-Laban that’s orchestrating any plot.
“Whoever is behind all these loose talks about a coup against the speaker must have a different agenda,” Pimentel said.
“It doesn’t make any sense if we do something that will just break the peace. PDP-Laban will not do anything or start anything that is not in line with the wishes of the president,” he said.
On Thursday, Cayetano accused Velasco of hatching a plot to wrest the speakership from him, months ahead of the supposed transition in October.
He said at least 20 congressmen approached him telling him of Velasco’s promises to give them committee chairmanships or additional budgetary allocations in exchange for their support in taking over the speakership.
But Pimentel said Cayetano’s allegations were baseless.
“We definitely have no intention to walk away from this agreement. We have a very good working relationship with Speaker Cayetano and we intend to keep it that way,” he said.
“Congressman Velasco is not in a rush to become the Speaker,” Pimentel said, noting that “it is just a few months away.”
“Based on the term-sharing agreement that was worked out by President Duterte, Cayetano will get 15 months and Velasco 21 months as House Speaker,” he said.
“With this agreement, Speaker Cayetano is expected to relinquish the speakership in favor of Velasco in October this year,” Pimentel said.