Velasco denies Cayetano 'coup' claims, says to uphold term-sharing pact

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 27 2020 06:22 PM

Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco. Handout

MANILA - Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco on Thursday said he would uphold his term-sharing agreement with House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano, denying the latter's claims he was behind a "coup" plot at the House of Representatives.

In a statement, Velasco denied the "baseless reports" of a supposed plan to remove Cayetano, saying they were "being peddled by certain camps with vested interests" in the House. 

He also said that such reports are meant to divide the chamber and derail the Duterte administration's legislative agenda.

"To my kababayans, these reports are far from the truth. The reports were meant to create deep division within the House of Representatives and its members, destroy camaraderie, distract lawmakers from fulfilling their mandate, and more importantly, derail the key legislative agenda of the Duterte Administration," he said.

He assured the public that he would honor the term-sharing agreement between him and Cayetano, who is to remain at the House helm until October.

"Up to this day, I continue to honor the term-sharing agreement brokered by no less than President Rodrigo Duterte when the 18th Congress convened in July 2019. From the beginning, I never had any intention of reneging on this agreement. Tayo po ay lalaking may isang salita (I'm a man of my word)," Velasco said.

Cayetano on Thursday said Velasco's camp was behind a plot to oust him from the speakership, adding he was able to trace efforts to sabotage the work of the House of Representatives.

Several lawmakers were allegedly being offered budget allocations and chairmanship positions once Velasco takes over the lower chamber's top post, he said.

Cayetano earlier said issues on the budget and franchise renewal of media giant ABS-CBN were used to oust him from the speakership.

The president's party PDP-Laban also denied alleged ouster claims. Velasco is part of the ruling party while Cayetano, the president's defeated 2016 running mate, is from the Nacionalista Party.