MANILA (UPDATE) — Taguig Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano on Monday claimed lawmakers are being offered bribes to secure their votes in the race for Speaker of the House of Representatives.
Reelected Davao del Norte 1st District Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez in May claimed that someone offered P500,000 to every lawmaker and that this was countered by the camp of another congressman with an offer of P1 million.
"Confirmed iyun," Cayetano said of Alvarez's claim.
Cayetano and Alvarez are vying for the Speakership, along with Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez and Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco.
The Taguig representative said some of congressmen who support him said they were recently summoned to an establishment in Ortigas, where they were offered money in exchange for signing a document of support for a Speaker bet.
"The President says anti-corruption. E paano magiging anti-corruption ang Kongreso, umpisa pa lang, vote buying na ang issue?" he said.
(How can the Congress champion anti-corruption when vote buying is the issue at its outset?)
Velasco has denied any hand in the supposed bribery in an earlier ANC interview.
He said: "No, I am not giving away 1 million pesos...Congressmen should respect congressmen. They won't go to that type of wheeling and dealing just to be able to get the votes. Each congressman has his or her own views."
"I don't think each congressman can be bought that easily."
He said he told fellow lawmakers they will not get zero budget if he is chosen Speaker.
Cayetano however said of the denial: "I-review nyo iyung tape, hindi ba tumangos ang ilong pagkatapos?"
(Review the tape. Didn't his nose sharpen after?)
Velasco, he said, has the backing of San Miguel Corp. president Ramon Ang. The lawmaker's wife also works as a lobbyist for the businessman, said Cayetano.
"He's (Velasco) not a Boyet Gonzales, he's not a Sonny Belmonte, he's not an Edcel Lagman who's been there all the time. And iyung (the) leadership, he was not a majority leader, minority leader. Hindi ka nagtaka bakit biglang and'yan iyan?"
(Aren't you wondering why he's suddenly there?)
"Resources that are flowing cannot come from iyung mag-asawa lang," he added.