House minority leader Benny Abante is willing to let ousted House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano have his post, though he believes the Taguig lawmaker may not be keen on the idea.
Abante said on Thursday (October 15) that Cayetano has yet to signify his interest in becoming the new minority leader.
“I have not read the article that he will be joining the minority. Of course, we welcome him on that and sa akin, if he is willing to get the minority leader position, I would be very glad to give that way,” he said.
Under the House rules, the minority leader is chosen by members who did not vote for the incumbent Speaker. Cayetano was ousted during proceedings conducted by 186 lawmakers at the Celebrity Sports Plaza on October 12. He was replaced by House Speaker Lord Allan Jay Velasco.
Abante said the minority bloc has yet to discuss any possible changes in leadership.
“Kung di nila binoto ang Speaker, then they would have the right to be in the minority. Kapag nangyari yan, siguro magmi-meeting kami to be able to choose who will be the minority leader. If they still want me to be the minority leader, I would want to still be the minority leader. I’ll cross the bridge when we get there,” he said.
Following Velasco’s election, Abante said at least one lawmaker has expressed his intent to leave the 25-member minority: Ang Magsasaka party-list Rep. Argel Cabatbat.
Abante said he expects the minority bloc to lose at least two members, though a few lawmakers might also join their group.