House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano should honor the term-sharing agreement between him and Marinduque Representative Lord Allan Velasco with no conditions, Buhay party-list Rep. Lito Atienza said Wednesday (September 23).
In a statement, Atienza said Cayetano and Velasco agreed to share the speakership in front of President Rodrigo Duterte last year.
“Cayetano did not carry the majority numbers at that time, and Cong. Velasco did not ask for that to be a condition before he agreed to the agreement. Now that his term is about to end and Cong. Velasco is about to begin his, why are the Speaker’s supporters questioning if Cong. Velasco has the numbers,” he said.
Atienza said it was “unfair” for Cayetano’s allies to make the speakership a numbers game when there was already a term sharing deal. He urged the President to intervene.
“Mr. President, please do not allow the breaking of this gentleman’s agreement to share terms. Otherwise, Congress is doomed to fail if palabra de honor and delicadeza are not followed,” Atienza added.
Under the term-sharing agreement for the Speakership, Cayetano leads the Lower House for the first 15 months of the 18th Congress, while Velasco will assume leadership for the last 21 months.