HOUSE Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano yesterday confirmed there is a coup plot against him and said it is Marinduque Rep. Lord Alan Velasco who is behind the move.
In an ambush interview shortly after attending a Lani Cayetano Scholarship event in Taguig City, Cayetano said Velasco has already promised funding and chairmanships to the solons who will support the coup.
“Nangangako ng pondo at chairmanships at yung iba, siya mismo kausap,” Cayetano said when asked if he can confirm it is Velasco who is behind the coup plot.
“Normal naman kapag nahuhuli, nag de-deny. But unless 20 congressmen are lying to me, that pinapangakuan ng chairmanship at sinasabi na next year is my budget… ako na magdidikta kung kanino ibibigay, etc,” the Speaker added.
While Cayetano assured congressmen he will abide by the term-sharing agreement, he expressed his disappointment over the move to disrupt his leadership.
“Yes it is very divisive. Huwag nating guguluhin ang present na pagtatrabaho ng ating Kongreso kasi naaapektuhan yung trabaho,” Cayetano stressed.
The visibly irked Speaker even asked those solons who cannot wait for Velasco’s term to leave his group as they are disrupting and politicizing the work of the House of Representatives.
“Ang advice ko sa mga nasa leadership din, mga chairman, chairpersons na hindi makapaghintay: if you cannot cooperate with the present leadership, umalis muna kayo sa committees ninyo, bumalik na lang kayo pag Speaker na si Congressman Velasco,” he said.
“But habang ako ang Speaker, we do things by consensus, kung ano ang tama yun ang gagawin natin,” he added.
The Speaker asked the solons not to use the issue of budget, the controversy of the ABS-CBN franchise renewal and the chairmanships in disrupting the functions of the Lower Chamber.
At the start of the 18th Congress, Cayetano and Velasco agreed on term-sharing brokered by President Rodrigo Duterte. Another speakership contender Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez was picked to become Majority Leader.
Under the agreement, Cayetano will serve the first 15 months of the 18th Congress or until October this year while Velasco will sit in the next 21 months.
Earlier, there was talk of a coup plot brewing in the House and the anti-Cayetano group was using the issue of ABS-CBN franchise as reason to oust the present leadership.
“It’s verified, that talagang may mga nag-aattempt,” Cayetano said.
Cayetano said he can address and handle such issues as he has been in politics for the last 28 years.
He challenged Velasco to support the present majority if he really meant to honor the agreement.
“But now that he said that he will wait, he intends to honor it. So honor it by supporting the majority ‘di ba? Meron kasing pananabotahe sa budget na nangyayari ngayon that I have to deal with na na-trace namin sa kampo nila. But we will deal with it decisively. And ‘yun nga ‘yung advice ko du’n sa ibang chairperson: If you want work with me, walang personalan, kahit hindi ako ang gusto n’yong Speaker, let’s do it,” he added.