Velasco on Paolo Duterte’s stand vs term-sharing: I leave it up to my colleagues

Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 22 2019 11:19 PM

MANILA—Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco on Monday said it would be up to other House members if they wanted to heed Davao Rep. Paolo Duterte’s call against a term-sharing agreement that would install the PDP-Laban lawmaker as the next House speaker.

President Rodrigo Duterte endorsed a power-sharing deal between Taguig Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano and Velasco, but the chief executive’s son rebuked it, saying it was only an agreement between his father and the 2 contenders.

Under the deal, Cayetano would serve as Speaker for the first 15 months of the 18th Congress, before passing the post to Velasco who would lead the chamber for 21 months.

“We really don’t know what will happen in 15 months,” Velasco told reporters when asked for a reaction on Paolo’s stance against a term-sharing scheme.

“I leave it up to my colleagues,” he said.

Velasco said it was only natural for the Davao lawmaker to call for an election after Cayetano steps down from the post.

“It’s a given that when there is a new speaker, there has to be an election,” he said.

Despite Paolo’s pronouncement, there is no rush to ascend to the speakership, Velasco said.

“We had a gentleman’s agreement so I’ll respect the 15 months of Alan Peter Cayetano,” he said.

Velasco said he refused an offer to sit as deputy speaker while waiting for Cayetano to finish his 15 months as the chamber’s leader.

“They were actually offering me deputy speaker, but I said that I’d rather work in my former energy committee,” the Marinduque lawmaker said.

“I still have a lot to do with the energy sector,” he said.