Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Jay Velasco owes a big favor to former Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez if ever he gets to sit as House Speaker.
Politiko learned that President Rodrigo Duterte and his daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, are joining forces to make sure that the “15-21” term sharing agreement with Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano pushes through.
The reason? The Duterte just want to spite Alvarez.
Politiko’s source said Velasco will meet with Cayetano and House Majority Leader Ferdinand Martin Romualdez on Tuesday, September 29, to discuss the term sharing deal.
The source said the three politikos are set to discuss in the meeting when Cayetano would turn over the reins of the speakership to Velasco. This could be in October as scheduled, or in December to ensure the passage of the 2021 budget.
Either way, the source said the President and Sara have made it clear to lawmakers they want Cayetano to honor the agreement with Velasco.
Last week, Cayetano’s allies openly declared their support for his continued leadership despite the term sharing agreement. Some, like Caloocan Rep. Edgar Erice of the Liberal Party, even suggested that Velasco give way to Cayetano because now is supposedly not the Marinduque lawmaker’s time to shine.
However, Politiko’s source said it was Alvarez’s preference for Cayetano that finally got the most powerful father-daughter tandem to act.
Sara happens to be Velasco’s main backer, and the Marinduque lawmaker even named his daughter after the feisty Davao mayor.
In an interview on ANC’s Headstart, Alvarez called the term sharing agreement “divisive.”
“Hindi ako sang-ayon sa term-sharing, this is not about the speakership, this is about the country. Divisive yan eh…Para sa akin kung naumpisahan ni Congressman Alan Peter Cayetano yan, ipatapos mo na sa kanya yan,” he said.
Alvarez used to be the Speaker from 2016 to 2018 but he fell out of grace after threatening to impeach his friend, the President. Duterte revealed that it was Sara who maneuvered to replace Alvarez as Speaker in July 2018 with the election of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, who was then a representative of Pampanga.
The ouster of Alvarez took place just hours before Duterte delivered his State of the Nation Address.