Speaker-in-waiting bikes with Sara Duterte as House coup rumors swirl

Jamaine Punzalan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 02 2020 01:00 PM | Updated as of Mar 03 2020 05:15 PM

MANILA — As House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano faced an alleged ouster plot, his supposed successor biked over the weekend with Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, who was reportedly instrumental in the removal of another Congress leader. 

Cayetano last week claimed Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco's camp offered several lawmakers budget allocations and chairmanship positions so he could take over the lower chamber's top post. 

President Rodrigo Duterte last year brokered a deal for Cayetano to serve as Speaker for 15 months or until 2020, followed by Velasco for 21 months. Duterte-Carpio rejected the deal and backed Velasco for Speaker in the run-up to the May 13 midterm elections. 

Velasco, who earlier denied the supposed power grab move against Cayetano, shared on Instagram photos of his motorcycle ride with the President's daughter. 

"Happy Women’s Month! Shoutout to one of the strongest Women I know.. Mayor Inday Sara. Thank you for the weekend ride Mayor Inday," Velasco wrote in the caption, peppered with emojis. 


A post shared by Cong. Lord & Wen Velasco🇵🇭❤️ (@cong_lord_velasco) on

Duterte-Carpio in 2018 worked behind the scenes with congressmen to oust then Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez and replace him with Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, in a dramatic twist during the President's State of the Nation Address. 

In the run-up to the 2019 midterm elections, Duterte-Carpio called Velasco the "next speaker" in campaign hustings for her Hugpong ng Pagbabago party, which swept the senatorial race. 

Duterte-Carpio was at odds then with Cayetano, who she accused of making a “veiled threat” that the administration coalition might “break up” and affect the 2022 presidential election, if she backed Velasco for speaker. 

Cayetano last July said he and the President's daughter had "sorted out" their rift. 

Duterte-Carpio is a godmother of Velasco's infant daughter, also named Sara.