Paolo Duterte 'never' moved to boot out Cayetano: solon

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 21 2020 10:50 AM | Updated as of Sep 21 2020 11:50 AM

MANILA -- President Rodrigo Duterte's congressman son "never" said he would move to overthrow House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano due to supposed bickering over the 2021 national budget, their peer said Monday. 

Davao City 1st District Rep. Paolo Duterte does not meddle with the budget because anything he says may be construed as the statement of his father, said House budget panel chair Eric Go Yap. 

Media reports earlier said Duterte supposedly sent a Viber message to lawmakers that he would ask the Mindanao bloc to declare the positions of Speaker and Deputy Speakers vacant on Monday, which would set the stage for a power grab in the House. 

"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.)

Duterte "will follow the institution," said Yap. 

"Kung ano iyong mapagkasunduan ng majority, doon po siya," he elaborated. 

(He will back whatever the majority decides.)

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Two lawmakers earlier argued about Taguig and Camarines Sur allegedly getting a large share of the public works department's 2021 budget. 

The 2 districts of Taguig are run by House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano and his wife Lani, while one of CamSur's districts is represented at the House by LRay Villafuerte, a close ally of the Speaker. 

The P11 billion worth of projects for Taguig were supposed to be implemented this year and were derailed by the coronavirus pandemic. Their funding was "carried over" to next year's budget, said Yap. 

Camarines Sur, meanwhile, has 5 legislative districts, which means that its P11-billion infrastructure will be divided between 5 lawmakers, he said.

Under a term-sharing deal brokered by the President, Cayetano is supposed to serve as Speaker for 15 months or until October 2020, followed by Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco.