Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman on Wednesday said he was breaking his silence to tell the camp of Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano to honor his term-sharing deal with Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco and to resign irrevocably.
“As a member of the independent opposition, I have tried not to meddle in the intramurals of the majority coalition on the Speakership row,” he said.
“But I cannot anymore remain silent as a Member of the House of Representatives because the unresolved acrimonious leadership issue is damaging both the institution and the public interest,” he added.
Lagman said Cayatano’s obstinately holding on to the Speakership, “even as this violates the term-sharing deal, is linked to his ambition to run for President in 2022, which he does not deny.”
“Even as Cayetano invokes that it was agreed upon that in the event of a Velasco takeover, the vital House positions and committee chairmanships will be maintained, he has himself preempted and torpedoed this agreement by initially ousting Rep. Michael L. Romero, a strong Velasco ally, as Deputy Speaker,” he noted.
“Subsequently, the following Representatives, who are identified with the Velasco camp, also lost their respective chairmanships Rep. Sharon Garin (Committee on Economic Franchises); Rep. Helen Tan (Committee on Health) and Rep. Eric Martinez (Committee on Youth and Sports),” Lagman said.
“The rejection by members of the majority coalition of Cayetano’s “offer to resign” as Speaker was a moro-moro, an inordinate sham,” he said.
“To honor the term-sharing agreement, Cayetano must not only offer to resign but must irrevocably resign,” Lagman said.
“It is the tradition, albeit flawed, that the Speaker is chosen in Malacañang and such anointment is confirmed by the subsequent nominal voting by the President’s allies in the House of Representatives,” he added.
“The reality is no Speaker since the 8th Congress after EDSA, and even before, has been “elected” without the blessings of the President,” he said.
“It is incumbent on the members of the supermajority to honor the term-sharing agreement which was the decision of President Rodrigo Duterte, the supreme leader of the coalesced majority,” Lagman said.
“As far as the majority is concerned, what the President Duterte brokered must not be broken,” he said.