By JOHN CARLO M. CAHINHINAN
ACT-CIS Party-list Cong. Eric Go Yap said the House of Representatives will elect a new leader later next year if Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano decided to step down from his post following his term-sharing agreement with Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco.
Yap made the statement when asked if congressmen will still abide with the 15-21 term sharing deal between Cayetano and Velasco amidst calls from the National Unity Party (NUP) that the agreement may not push through, considering the high trust and approval ratings gained by the former Foreign Affairs secretary during the recent survey released by Social Weather Station (SWS).
“From the start naman iyong stand namin dito e kung magkakaron ng sinasabi na term-sharing eh, magkakaroon ng election siguro para sa speakership. Dahil kung sino iyong maboboto ng majority siya iyong magiging next Speaker natin,” said Yap.
Yap is under the Hugpong ng Pagbabago-led “Duterte Coalition” who then vocally lobbied against the proposed term-sharing during the hotly-contested Speakership race last July.
According to Yap, the term-sharing deal is a mere gentlemen’s agreement between Cayetano and Velasco and it was never put on paper.
“Wala namang napirmahan na agreement na term-sharing. Ang meron lang tayo, nagkaroon tayo ng election. Iyong term-sharing, meron silang verbal agreement doon. Hindi naman ako kasama duon e. Di ba? Basta ang alam ko lang bumoto kami ng Speaker, hindi naman kami tinanong kung magteterm-sharing. Isang beses lang kami bumoto nuon,” said Yap.
“Kung magkakaroon ulit ng panibagong botohon, kung sino sir iyong nakikita namin na makakapaglead ng maganda sa Congress, iyon ho. Kung sino ang mananalo sa botohan ulit,” he added.
Cayetano for his part last week stressed that only President Duterte can determine whether or not the term-sharing deal for the House leadership will proceed as plan.
Cayetano said Duterte being the chair of the PDP Laban-led ‘super majority coalition’ has the final say on the fate of the Speakership.
“Now it is a coalition—Diehard Duterte Super Coalition, or super majority. Ang head ng coalition na iyan ay ang Pangulo, so while independent ang Kongreso at hindi nakikialam ang Executive, ang nagde-decide for the coalition ay iyung Pangulo,” said Cayetano.