MANILA -- House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano has a "99.9 percent" chance of keeping his post, his colleague said, as he denied reports that President Rodrigo Duterte's son would orchestrate a power grab on Monday over the uneven share of funds for lawmakers' districts in the 2021 budget.
Davao City 1st District Rep. Paolo Duterte did not send a text message to lawmakers saying that the House Mindanao bloc would declare the posts of Cayetano and deputy speakers as vacant, said House budget panel chair Eric Go Yap.
"Never naman niya sinabing he will declare [the posts vacant]," Yap told ANC. "Ang sabi niya, he will ask the Mindanao bloc kung may reklamo sila, then sila ang mag-declare."
(He never said that will declare the posts vacant. What he said was that he would ask the Mindanao bloc if they have a complaint, then they should declare the posts vacant.)
"Siguro out of context lang iyong kumalat na text message," he added.
(Perhaps the text message that circulated was out of context.)
The House on Monday will hold a majority caucus to iron out "parochial concerns" in the 2021 budget.
"I have 99.9 percent feeling na talagang si Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano pa rin iyong magiging Speaker namin dahil wala pong problema sa pamamalakad niya," Yap said.
(I have a 99.9 percent feeling that Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano will stay as our Speaker because there is no problem with his leadership.)
"Malakas iyong feeling ko, wala namang coup d'état na mangyayari kasi hindi natin afford. May COVID na, tapos mag-a-away-away pa,” he added.
(I have a strong feeling that there will be no coup d'état because we cannot afford it. There is COVID, we can't have infighting.)
However, Yap said he believed some groups want to kick Cayetano out of his post.
"Maraming mapulitika talaga... Kung magtsi-change tayo ng leadership mamaya, ano po ang maitutulong natin sa Pilipinas noon? Paano po natin gagawin ang budget nang maayos?" he said.
(Many are politicking. If we change leadership later, how will that help the Philippines? How can we pass the budget properly?)
Under a term-sharing deal brokered by President Rodrigo Duterte, Cayetano is supposed to serve as Speaker for 15 months or until October, followed by Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco.
"Siguro bago dumating iyong November, magsasalita ang ating Presidente at kung ano mang sasabihin niya, ano man iyong mapagkasunduan ng majority namin dito sa Congress, gagalangin namin iyon," said Yap.
(Perhaps before November, the President will talk about this and whatever he says and whatever the majority in Congress agrees on, we will respect that.)