The battle for Speakership is becoming messier by the day.
Speaker Alan Cayetano claims Marinduque Rep. Lord Velasco wants to pin him down for alleged corruption as chairman of the much maligned Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee (Phisgoc).
Cayetano told lawmakers Velasco bared his plan to President Rodrigo during a meeting between the three Malacanang on September 29. Duterte met the two to settle the term sharing deal for Speaker, with Cayetano told to relinquish the seat to Velasco by October 14.
“Natawa nga po ako sa sagot ni Congressman Velasco, ‘Mr. President, gusto ko ngang paimbestigahan y’ung Phisgoc eh’,” revealed Cayetano during his hour-long speech seeking the support of his allies to keep him in his post.
Velasco was referring the country’s hosting of the 30th SEA Games in December 2019 where Cayetano chaired the privately owned Phisgoc which obtained P6 billion in government funds. The SEA Games were marred by poor preparation, lack of funds for athlete development, overpriced uniforms and equipment, and the P50 million cauldron (“Caldero ni Cayetano”) beside the newly-built New Clark City Athletics Stadium.
But Cayetano was unfazed by Velasco’s threats in front of the President.
“Sabi ko, ‘Mr. President pa-imbestigahan n’yo po dahil wala kayong makikita’. At ngayon pa lang hinahamon ko sa Congressman Velasco—paimbestigahan mo. ‘Pag may nakita kang anomalya, hindi lang ako magre-resign—ikulong mo ako. Pero ‘pag wala kang nakitang anomalya, ikaw ma-resign’,” Cayetano said.