Velasco to face 'problems' if House committee heads changed: Cayetano ally

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 30 2020 12:49 PM | Updated as of Sep 30 2020 12:58 PM

Velasco ally says committee chairs can stay

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MANILA (UPDATE)— Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco will face "problems" if committee chairmanships are changed once he assumes the Speakership, an ally of incumbent Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano said Wednesday.

House deputy leaders and committee chairmanships were given based on party allocations, according to Camarines Sur Rep. Luis Raymund Villafuerte.

"These are party allocations, kung gagalawin niya ang party allocations, magkakaproblema 'yan," he told ABS-CBN's Teleradyo.

(If he will change these party allocations, there will be problems.)

"Bakit niya (Cayetano) nilagay ang mga tao nila Cong. Lord, Cong. Martin (Romualdez)? Para walang gulo po. 'Yun ang napagusapan, malinaw po 'yun. 'Yun ang napagusapan from the start."

(Why did Cayetano put people of Cong. Lord and Cong. Martin there? So there won't be trouble. That's what was discussed from the start.)

The two earlier agreed on a term-sharing agreement, with Velasco due to replace Cayetano next month. 

Velasco agreed not to change House committee heads, his ally Oriental Mindoro 1st District Rep. Salvador "Doy" Leachon told ANC.

"The proposition of the Speaker [was] not to change the [committee] leadership… Cong. Velasco actually agreed to that," he said.

In an interview with ANC's Headstart, Villafuerte said Velasco has already mentioned that he would replace ACT-CIS Party-list Rep. Eric Yap as chairman of the Committee on Appropriations with Davao City Rep. Isidro Ungab.

This is a "violation" of the term-sharing deal, which supposedly only involved changes in the posts of the Speaker and the Chairman of the Committee on Accounts, he said.

He said news reports also stated that Velasco was eyeing changes in the Committee on Legislative Franchises and the Committee on Good Government and Accountability. These are currently headed by Palawan Rep. Franz Alvarez and Bulacan Rep. Jose Antonio Sy-Alvarado.

"Nagsa-start na. Too early in the game, ill-advised," he said.

"We are sure, very sure na papalitan niya ang mga chairmanship kasi pinangakuan na niya ang mga kasama niya," he said.

(We are sure, very sure that he will shuffle chairmanships because he has promised these to his allies.)

Velasco is supposedly set to replace Cayetano as House Speaker on Oct. 14 in honor of the term-sharing pact, a source from his camp said, but Villafuerte denied this was discussed during the two lawmakers' meeting with President Rodrigo Duterte Tuesday night.

"Ang napagusapan budget will be approved on or before Oct. 15. 'Yun ang malinaw. 'Yung sinasabing Oct. 14 I think that’s not accurate. We were all there, wala namang sinabing date," he told Teleradyo.

(We said the budget will be approved on or before Oct. 15. That's clear. The Oct. 14 date is not accurate. We were all there, there was no date agreed upon.)