As expected, Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano reportedly has no plans to step down from the House leadership this October despite his supposed term-sharing with Marinduque Rep. Lord Alan Velasco.
Politiko recently learned from some congressional insiders that Cayetano wants to remain as Speaker for the rest of the 18th Congress, or until June 2022. He is supposedly using as his bargaining chip with Malacañang, the recent denial by Congress on the franchise renewal application embattled broadcast giant ABS-CBN.
One of the sources who requested anonymity said Cayetano has demanded that “to remain as leader of the Lower House is the best gift Malacañang could give to him” after the House Committee on Legislative Franchises junked the franchise renewal of the Lopez-owned media conglomerate early in July.
“Hinihingi ni APC (Cayetano) na tuloy-tuloy siya as Speaker bilang regalo or balato sa pagbagsak ng ABS-CBN,” the unimpeachable source told Politiko.
The insider added that Cayetano and his henchmen are reportedly cautioning and keep on telling the camp of Presidential son and Deputy Speaker for Political Affairs Paolo Duterte (Davao City) that once the the Speakership is already in the hands of Velasco, there will be a good chance that the franchise application of the Kapamilya network may be revived.
Velasco is reportedly in favor of giving ABS-CBN a new franchise since it can be used for his potential senatorial run in 2022.
Cayetano and Velasco have an existing term-sharing agreement for the House leadership which was forged by no less than President Rodrigo Duterte himself.
Under the chief executive’s “1521 or Magellan formula,” Cayetano will serve as leader of the bigger chamber for the first 15 months while Velasco will be the House Speaker for the remainder of the 18th Congress or until June 2022.
The younger Duterte earlier reportedly got irked with the Taguig-Pateros congressman after the alleged attempt of Cayetano’s camp not to include Velasco in the official 25-man House delegation during his father’s fifth State of the Nation Address (SONA) last week.
Velasco’s was only included in the expanded list of congressmen, less than 24-hours before Mr. Duterte’s annual address to the nation. (JCC)