“YOU will be Speaker if the President wants.”
This is the message of Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano to Speaker-in-waiting Lord Alan Velasco amid a botched coup plot allegedly by the Marinduque representative’s allies.
Cayetano expressed disappointment over the move of Velasco and his cohorts which is a disruptive of the work of the House of Representatives.
“Ang message ko lang sa kanya, trabaho lang tayo, huwag tayong magsiraan, huwag tayong mag-intrigahan at huwag matatakot na hindi ka magiging speaker kasi kung yan talaga ang gusto ng Presidente, he is the head of our coalition, mangyayari yan, yun lang yun,” Cayetano said before House reporters after a meeting with the lawmakers Monday night that lasted for two hours.
On Monday night, Cayetano met members of the National Unity Party and Nacionalista Party who gave their support to his leadership.
President Rodrigo Duterte brokered term-sharing between Cayetano and Velasco under a 15-21 months scheme. Cayetano would serve first for 15 months and Velasco the rest of the term-sharing.
Earlier, Cayetano said that Velasco was plotting a coup against him by offering budgets and chairmanships to some lawmakers.
During the Monday meeting, Cayetano got assurance from the majority members of the 18th Congress that they wanted him to continue his leadership.
“Simple lang, they like direction, they like the reforms, I’m here to continue to serve,” he said.
Prior to the meeting, two allies of Velasco were stripped of juicy committee chairmanships. Davao City Rep. Isidro Ungab was removed as chair of the appropriations committee while Oriental Mindoro Rep. Doy Leachon was replaced at the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal (HRET).
Meanwhile, Cayetano said he wanted to retain all committee chairmen their respective panels even after he steps down from the Speakership by November.