A smooth turnover of the speakership seems like a remote possibility by the day as House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano appears to be bent on holding on to the position for as long as he can.

Sinong bibigay? Cayetano, Velasco want to be Speaker on their birthdays

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A smooth turnover of the speakership seems like a remote possibility by the day as House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano appears to be bent on holding on to the position for as long as he can.

A source told Politiko that Cayetano wants to remain as Speaker until October 28, his 50th birthday. The problem with his wish is that the House’s session is only until October 15.

Under the “15-21” term sharing agreement, Cayetano will be Speaker only until October this year and Velasco will take over from him.

Heeding Cayetano’s wish would mean Velasco will have to wait until November 16 to become Speaker, a compromise that the Marinduque lawmaker doesn’t seem to be keen on making. Politiko’s source said Velasco wants to be Speaker by the time he celebrates his 43rd birthday on November 9.

Another tug of war over the speakership is reportedly brewing as allies of Cayetano and Velasco tussle over the district allocations for infrastructure projects in 2021.

Camarines Sur Rep. Luis Raymund Villafuerte has accused Negros Oriental Rep. Arnolfo Teves Jr. of raising the issue to derail the passage of the proposed P4.5-trillion national budget for next year, supposedly in cahoots with Velasco and former Negros Occidental Rep. Albee Benitez.

READ MORE: Feeling kingmaker! Lray drags Albee Benitez into speakership row after CamSur’s P11-B infra budget exposed

Politiko also reported that Cayetano is reportedly considering scuttling the “15-21” term sharing deal with Velasco for an “18-18” setup that will see the Marinduque lawmaker assuming the speakership in January next year.

READ MORE: 18-18 na! Cayetano wants speakership deal with Velasco scuttled to control 2021 budget

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Model Natalia Vodianova named new UN women’s health envoy

Russian supermodel Natalia Vodianova travels the world working for luxury fashion brands such as Balmain and Stella McCartney, and now as a United Nations’ goodwill ambassador she’ll be promoting a new global message about normalizing discussions on women’s reproductive and sexual health.

Vodianova was named as a United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) goodwill ambassador Wednesday.

“For too long, society’s approach to menstruation and women’s health has been defined by taboo and stigma. It is now our responsibility to culturally redefine what is normal,” said the model, who lives in Paris.

“Menstruation is a normal bodily function. As UNFPA Goodwill Ambassador, I want to work to build a world where we no longer need to explain this.”

Vodianova and the UNFPA, which focuses on reproductive and maternal health, will work together to empower women and girls against prejudices around their bodies and health that can lead to discrimination and exclusion.

“It’s a tragic irony that something as universal as menstruation can make girls feel so isolated,” said UNFPA director Natalia Kanem.

“Societies prosper when girls are confident, empowered and making their own decisions.”

The model joins other UNFPA goodwill ambassadors including US actress Ashley Judd and Danish princess Mary Donaldson.

Agence France-Presse

Duterte explains reason for refusing to wear face mask: ‘Hindi ako holdaper’

By Prince Golez

“Hindi ako holdaper.”

President Rodrigo Duterte had this to say to critics who faulted him for rarely wearing a face mask.

“I’ve been criticized. Tama kayo na ito si Duterte nagsasalita, hindi naman sinusunod, tama kayo, na hindi naman nagma-mask, tama kayo,” Duterte said in his televised speech Wednesday.

Speaking with a mask on can be uncomfortable, according to the Chief Executive.

“Eh hindi ako holdaper na sanay magsalita nitong naka (face mask) kaya tinatanggal ko.

“I run the risk of baka ako madali rin, may vice president man, siya na ang susunod. Wala tayong magawa,” he furthered.

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