MANILA (UPDATE) - Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco will take over as Speaker of the House of Representatives on Oct. 14, according to a source from the Velasco camp.
Velasco and incumbent House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano met with President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday night to put an end on the Speakership issue.
Neither Malacañang nor the camp of Cayetano has issued any confirmation or details of the meeting or responded to ABS-CBN inquiries.
The same ABS-CBN source claimed that it was the President who decided to enforce the agreement which he brokered last year.
At the end of Tuesday's meeting, it was agreed upon by all parties that Cayetano will make an announcement. The same source also said Cayetano will make the announcement Wednesday.
Under an earlier term-sharing agreement for the speakership last year, Cayetano leads the House for the first 15 months of the 18th Congress, while Velasco will assume leadership for the last 21 months.
That term sharing agreement was brokered by Duterte.
The son of retired Supreme Court Associate Justice and now Marinduque Gov. Presbitero Velasco, Lord Allan served as provincial administrator before becoming a lawmaker. His mother and sister also were legislators in previous congresses. He has close ties to San Miguel Corporation CEO Ramon Ang who served as mentor to the baptism of his youngest daughter.
The President's son, Davao City Rep. Paolo Duterte, earlier denied he would call for a change in House leadership as congressmen approached him over their district's allocations under next year's national spending plan.
In a budget hearing earlier this month, Negros Oriental 3rd District Rep. Arnolfo Teves Jr. confronted officials of the Department of Public Works and Highways about rumors he heard that Taguig City and Camarines Sur (CamSur) were getting the largest slice of their budget pie for next year.
The two districts of Taguig are ran by House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano and his wife Lani, while one of CamSur's districts is represented by LRay Villafuerte, a close ally of Cayetano. Villafurte's son, Migz, is also governor of CamSur.
Villafuerte called Teves a "rumormonger" for raising concerns based on "hearsay" and linked his accusation with an alleged plot concerning the House Speakership, adding that he saw nothing wrong if his and Cayetano's districts get a larger infrastructure budget.
ACT-CIS Party-list Rep. Eric Go Yap, the House budget panel chair, said he also saw nothing anomalous if Taguig would get allegedly over P11 billion worth of projects from the DPWH.
In 2018, Duterte’s younger sister, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte was widely credited for the ouster of then Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez and his replacement by former President and then Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
The leadership change affected the enactment of the 2019 budget which was delayed by 4 months over lawmakers' wrangling.
Congress will go on a recess from October 17 to November 15. Cayetano’s leadership has assured that the 2021 budget will be approved before the break.
- with a report from RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News