MANILA - House budget committee chair Eric Go Yap said Thursday he abstained from voting on House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano's resignation to be "neutral" while the chamber focuses on next year's budget.
Voting 184-1-9, the chamber rejected Cayetano's offer to quit his post a day after he met with President Rodrigo Duterte and Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco to settle their Speakership term-sharing deal.
Yap said he would follow whoever sits as House Speaker as he respects the chamber as an institution.
"I abstained po kasi mas gusto kong maging neutral dahil budget season po ngayon so gusto ko po lahat ng focus ko ilagay ko sa budget," he told ANC's Headstart.
(I abstained because I wanted to be neutral because it's budget season. I want all my focus to be on the budget.)
"If I will go politicking with the Speaker, kawawa naman ang tao, walang magaasikaso ng budget nila. Walang taong magfofocus dun sa budget...This is the most important budget in history because ngayon tayo may pandemic, ngayon kailangan ng tao ang tamang budget that will fit their needs."
(If I will go politicking with the Speaker, the people will suffer, no one will take care of their budget. No one will focus on the budget...This is the most important budget in history because we have a pandemic, the people need the right budget that will fit their needs.)
The chamber aims to pass on final reading the proposed 2021 budget before Congress adjourns on Oct. 15.
Yap said he would also abide in the event he would be removed by the sitting Speaker, whether it would be Cayetano or Velasco.
"It is okay with me as long as sinabi ni Speaker I will obey...Kung sino po ang maging Speaker 'yun po ang susundan ko kahit sabihin niyang wag ka na pumasok, you resign, gagawin ko po 'yun because I respect the institution," he said.
(I will obey whoever will be Speaker even if he asks me not to go to work, to resign, I will do it because I respect the institution.)
Yap made the remark as rumors swirled that there would be changes in committee chairmanships should a new Speaker be elected.
Velasco's camp earlier denied the claims.
"The proposition of the Speaker [was] not to change the [committee] leadership… Cong. Velasco actually agreed to that," Oriental Mindoro 1st District Rep. Salvador "Doy" Leachon said.