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.
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.