Cayetano lauds Martin; says fate as House leader up to Duterte

October 16, 2019

NEW CLARK City – Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano yesterday lauded the sterling performance of House Majority Leader Martin Romualdez as he vowed to continue the  work of the House of Representatives to improve the lot of Filipinos.

This developed as Cayetano announced that he would let President Rodrigo “Rody” Duterte decide on the continuity of his leadership after 15 months as Speaker since July 2019.

“Lahat po kami ngayon nakatutok sa trabaho and I am working very well with everyone, especially (with) our Majority Leader Martin and he has been producing for the House,” Cayetano told reporters when asked about the possibility that he may continue to serve as Speaker after 15 months.

President Duterte brokered the term-sharing agreement before the House elected Cayetano last July 22, the Taguig-Pateros congressman would hold the post for 15 months, or up to October next year, after which Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco, who chairs the House Committee on Energy, takes over.

Also under the agreement, Romualdez will be the House Majority Leader of the 18th Congress for three years.

But Cayetano said he would see President Duterte one month or two months before his 15-month speakership leadership ends to know his fate.

“So I promise the President, I’ll do a good job and one month or two months before iyung middle or pinag-usapan, I’ll go to him for instructions, so kung ano ang instruction ng Pangulo, iyun ang masusunod at lahat naman kami, si Majority Leader Martin Romualdez and si Congressman Velasco, all agreed dito,” said Cayetano after he, Sen. Bong Go and other sports officials conducted an ocular inspection of the world-class sports complex here, which will serve as the main hub when the Philippines hosts the 2019 Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games).

He said President Duterte as the titular head of the supermajority will decide his fate as House leader.

Nevertheless, Cayetano assured Velasco that he has nothing to worry about, explaining what is important now is for them to pass the legislative agenda of President Duterte.

“Siguro focus tayo sa trabaho na lamang muna, no use of talking about something na malayo pa. But wala namang dapat ikaba iyung kahit sino kasi nga lahat naman tayo ay sumasang-ayon na ang Pangulo ang magde-decide, and so far mayroon siyang standing decision, so far that stands,” Cayetano stressed.

Earlier, Cavite Rep. Elpidio “Pidi” Barzaga, who chairs the House Committee on Natural Resources, said Cayetano’s 64-percent and 62-percent approval and trust ratings in the Pulse Asia survey “are remarkable if we consider the low marks the House received in previous Congresses.”

“Nagpapasalamat ako sa lahat ng ating mga kababayan, as they said pinaka-mataas na ratings ng House in history. Having said that, nag-uumpisa pa lamang tayo, marami pa tayong dapat patunayan, kailangan nating ipakita sa ating mga kababayan na relevant at nagko-connect, (at) tumutugon sa pangangailangan ng (mga) tao ang Kongreso,” said Cayetano.

Barzaga said the term-sharing arrangement for the position of Speaker may soon be scuttled.

“If Speaker Cayetano sustains his good performance as shown by his high trust and approval ratings in the latest Pulse Asia quarterly report, there would be a groundswell among House members and the public for him to stay on,” said Barzaga.