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May ibang karibal si Velasco? Voting for next Speaker will proceed in 2020 regardless of term-sharing, Cayetano says

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By JOHN CARLO M. CAHINHINAN

An election for the next House Speaker will take place regardless of the term-sharing deal incumbent Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano and Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco.

“Either way, magkakaroon ng botohan sa speakership kung sino ang next leader. No one can take over by just saying na ikaw na next kasi wala namang vice speaker, we have deputy speakers, but even the deputy speakers wala naman ‘yung sumunod diyan,” said Cayetano during an ambush interview in Tagatay City on Thursday.

But Cayetano didn’t clarify if there is another congressman outside Velasco who is also aspiring for the House leadership once his term expires on September 2020 based on the term-sharing deal brokered by President Rodrigo Duterte.

Presidential son and Deputy Speaker Paolo Duterte together with the Hugpong ng Pagbabago-led Duterte Coalition in the Lower House remain consistent with their stand against term-sharing, saying there should be an election for the next House leader once Cayetano vacates his post.

During Velasco’s 42nd birthday celebration in San Juan City last Monday, President Duterte expressed doubts on whether or not the gentlemen’s agreement between Cayetano and Velasco will proceed as planned amid calls from some congressmen that the former Foreign Affairs secretary should continue with his reign until 2022.

Duterte stressed that he was not forcing any congressman whether he belongs to Cayetano or Velasco’s camp to take a stand on the term-sharing deal.

But for Cayetano, “it’s very unproductive and very speculative to talk about something na 15 months from now.”

“Walang dapat ikabahala si Congressman Velasco dahil sinabi ko naman from the start na susundin ko ang utos ng ating Pangulo, siya ang chairman ng ating coalition so let’s just work at tutukan lang natin ito,” said Cayetano.

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