Galawang ‘House of Cards:’ Cayetano reportedly seeks fresh mandate to thwart term-sharing deal with Velasco
Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano has reportedly designed a political maneuver that will enable him to thwart the term-sharing agreement with Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco in an attempt to wrestle full control of the House of Representatives.
Politiko/Abante learned that congressmen loyal to Cayetano, especially those from his political entity, the Nacionalista Party (NP) and those from the rising powerhouse—National Unity Party (NUP) are currently in talks over plans to move to declare the position of Speaker vacant, and give Cayetano a fresh mandate to finally, once and for all get rid of the gentlemen’s agreement he earlier forged with Velasco.
With Cayetano having a fresh mandate, he would be able to reorganize all key positions in the Lower House including committee chairmanships and deputy speakers.
The camp of Cayetano reportedly wants to get rid not only those of committee chairs and deputy speakers who are aligned with Velasco who mostly came from the ruling PDP Laban but also to secure the control of the powerful House committee on appropriations, currently chaired by Davao City Rep. Isidro Ungab.
A congressional insider who requested anonymity Cayetano’s camp particularly Deputy Speaker for Finance Luis Raymund “LRay” Villafuerte has been using the issue of an alleged foiled House coup to project that Velasco was the one who first betrayed the term-sharing deal so that the Taguig-Pateros congressman has enough reason to disengage from their gentlemen’s agreement last year.
Cayetano and Villafuerte are also reportedly seeking to get rid Ungab after he allegedly told President Rodrigo Duterte and Budget Secretary Wendel Avisado about the multi-billion worth of congressional realignment and parked funds in the 2020 national budget which was initiated by legislators very close to the Taguig-Pateros congressmen.
The multi-billion worth realignment has prompted the chief executive and the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to withhold the release of some P80-billion worth of district projects under the P4.1 trillion General Appropriations Act (GAA).
It is not yet clear when will Cayetano’s henchmen execute their plan, but a reliable source claimed it might happen before the summer adjournment later this month.
Cayetano needs at least 156 congressmen to secure a fresh mandate if ever his allies will proceed with the alleged plan.
The Speaker is already ensured with votes coming from NP and NUP. NP currently has 41 districts congressmen while NUP has 49.
NUP also has forged alliances with at least 12 party-list groups.