Even Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque can’t bring himself to spin President Rodrigo Duterte’s growing displeasure at the leadership row in the House of Representatives, which is widely believed to be the doing of House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano.
Roque on Saturday (October 10) refused to give a direct answer when asked over dzBB radio if Duterte still trusts Cayetano despite his unwillingness to adhere to the term sharing agreement on the speakership.
“Basta ang kailangan lang po ni Presidente maisabatas ang 2021 budget,” he said.
Duterte on Friday (October 9) called on Congress to hold a special session from October 13 to 16 to ensure the timely passage of the proposed 2021 national budget.
The House is expected to pass the general appropriations bill (GAB) on third and final reading at any time during the three-day special session so it can be transmitted to the Senate before Congress goes on break on October 16.
The 2021 national budget’s approval has been affected by Cayetano’s suspension of the session from October 6 to November 16, a bid seen to prevent an election happening on October 14 for the position of Speaker.
Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Jay Velasco had appealed to Cayetano to step down on October 14 in keeping with their term sharing agreement, which was brokered in Duterte’s presence.