A VETERAN solon denied rumors that there is a coup brewing against Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano.
Cebu City Rep. Raul del Mar said the controversy over the ABS-CBN franchise renewal is not affecting the leadership of Cayetano.
“This is the first time I hear about this rumor. There is no coup against the Speaker. I should know because I am always there (in the House of Representatives),” Del Mar, who belongs to the opposition Liberal Party, said in a television interview.
Del Mar earlier filed a House joint resolution extending the franchise of the ABS-CBN up to the end of the 18th Congress or June 2022.
The solon was asked about speculations that some congressmen dissatisfied with Cayetano’s stance on the ABS-CBN franchise issue might move against him.
According to Del Mar, some groups in the House or those allied with Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco should wait for his agreed time to take over as Speaker.
Cayetano and Velasco had agreed on a term sharing arrangement. Under the term sharing arrangement, Cayetano would lead the House for 15 months up to October this year. Velasco would serve the remaining 21 months of the Speaker’s three-year term of office.
Del Mar said he expects the two solons will respect the term sharing accord which was brokered by President Rodrigo Duterte.
The Speaker has repeatedly said the House would hear bills seeking to renew the franchise at the appropriate time when emotions have died down, and that the process would be sober, fair and impartial.
The Speaker pointed out that the network’s franchise is not only an issue of press freedom but of accountability as well.
Velasco belongs to the administration PDP-Laban party, which is gradually losing members in the House to other political groups.
PDP-Laban leaders have denied reports they are moving against Cayetano.
The Speaker himself has addressed the coup rumors.
He said the replacement of the top leader of the House takes place in plenary session through a vote of no confidence and the election of his replacement.