Palace foils Cayetano’s alleged plan to bar Velasco in Duterte’s 5th SONA
Malacañang has reportedly thwarted the alleged non-inclusion of Marinduque Rep. Lord Alan Velasco in the list of congressmen approved by the House leadership that will be physically present during President Rodrigo Duterte’ fifth State of the Nation Address (SONA).
The name of Velasco was not included in the original 25-man delegation first submitted by the camp House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano to Malacañang based on a list obtained by Politiko.
The original list mostly includes House officials and ex-officio members who voted against the franchise renewal of embattled broadcast giant ABS-CBN.
Politiko learned from Malacañang insiders that the list submitted by Cayetano’s camp was subsequently turned down by an influential Palace official upon learning that the name of Velasco—the so-called “Speaker-in-waiting” and Cayetano’s rival—was not included in the 25-man contingent.
According to the source, Cayetano’s camp deliberately excluded Velasco in the list of those lawmakers who will be physically present for the President’s fifth SONA, using the issue of security protocol as their main alibi.
Cayetano and Velasco supposedly have an existing term-sharing agreement for the House leadership which was forged by no less than the President himself.
Under Mr. Duterte’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.
Many congressmen, including Deputy Speaker and Davao City Rep. Paolo Duterte as well as other Palace officials reportedly got irked on Cayetano’s unorthodox move, insisting that the Marinduque lawmaker should be physically present the fact that he is the Speaker-in-waiting.
Congressmen close to the Presidential Son who requested anonymity confirmed that the the Davao City congressman lobbied for the inclusion of Marinduque solon in the official House delegation that’s why the House secretariat was forced to released a new list on Sunday afternoon—a 30-man contingent which include Velasco and four others who were hand-picked by the younger Duterte and Majority Floor Leader Ferdinand Martin Romualdez.
With that kind of action shown by the current House leader, allies of Velasco and Rep. Duterte in the Lower House are reportedly doubtful on whether or not Cayetano will honor the existing agreement he entered with the Marinduqe lawmaker.