Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco said Monday he was confident Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano would step down after his 15-month tenure expires under a term-sharing agreement brokered by President Rodrigo Duterte.
Velasco, chairman of the House of Representatives’ Committee on Energy, said he believed he would be able to assume the speakership and that Cayetano would abide by the agreement.
“As far as I know, an agreement is an agreement. And based on the gentlement’s agreement, I will see you next year as the Speaker,” Velasco told reporters.
But Cayetano said there was no talk that he would not abide by the agreement.
“I mean, you cannot stop the congressmen from being happy with the reforms [I have implemented] ...that the budget was passed within a month ...that institutional [amendments] were prioritized ...the record attendance,” Cayetano said in Tagalog.
He made the statement to reporters who were hastily called to his office after Velasco, for the first time, broke his silence on the persistent talk that he would not abide by the agreement.
Velasco was quick to say, however, that the speakership “will go through voting.”
“We are focused on working ...passing laws which I believe I will be able to do something by way of legislation to bring down electricity prices,” Velasco said.
Velasco is supposed to assume the Speakership in October 2020.
Cayetano earlier hinted that he would not honor the term-sharing agreement when his term expires and would instead ask President Duterte, as head of the administration coalition, if he should not just stay on the job.
Under the term-sharing agreement brokered by Duterte, Cayetano would assume the post for 15 months while Velasco would occupy the post in the remaining 21 months.
Meanwhile, Velasco, celebrated his birthday with a ride for the victims of the earthquake in Mindanao over the weekend. Those who joined the ride were expected to donate to the victims of the Mindanao quake.
“This is a special day for me, and this fundraiser is my way of giving back my blessings to our brothers and sisters in Mindanao,” Velasco said.
Velasco and Mayor Inday Sara Duterte of Davao City also led a gift-giving activity in Boac, Marinduque.