Lord’s pants on fire? Duterte confirms term sharing suggestion between Velasco, Cayetano
President Rodrigo Duterte just put Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Jay Velasco in a tighrt position when he confirmed that he suggested term sharing to end the three-way race for the speakership.
Duterte told reporters Thursday (June 27) that he suggested term sharing between Velasco and Taguig Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano when they met in Japan earlier this month.
“Ito sabi ko. Maghati kayo ng term. Ang gusto ni Cayetano mauna siya. But he will stay there just for 15 months. That’s what he committed. Si — and Velasco can have the — the other half, which is not really as short as — 21 months. Sabihin ko mag-ano… Ganun ang proposal. Pumayag na si Cayetano but si Velasco mukhang last minute nag-back out,” he said at the sidelines of Senator-elect Bong Go’s oath taking in Malacañang.
In a statement before Duterte’s interview, Velasco claimed the President never suggested term sharing to resolve the speakership row.
“President Duterte already made clear his position that he would leave the choice for speakership to the capable hands of the members of Congress and will not endorse a particular individual for the position. This declaration never mentioned a term sharing for the position of Speaker,” he said.
Cayetano accused Velasco and his wife of reneging on an earlier agreement they had to share the term of Speaker.
The Taguig lawmaker said he had agreed to become Speaker only for the first 15 months of the 18th Congress while Velasco will hold the position in the remaining 21 months.
With Velasco rejecting Duterte’s proposal for term sharing, the President said he had no choice but to keep his hands off the speakership race.
“So ang suggestion ko is ganito: Kung ‘yan lang naman, puro man tayo magkaibigan dito, huwag na lang tayong mag-away. I will not help anybody. Mag-labo-labo na lang kayo: Romualdez, Alvarez, Cayetano,” he said, referring to Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez, another contender for Speaker.