Velasco should have defended self during Cayetano's speech: Deputy Speaker

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 01 2020 10:11 AM

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MANILA - Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco has only himself to blame for losing the Speakership, an ally of his rival incumbent Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano said Thursday.

Cayetano had offered to resign which the majority of congressmen readily rejected.

Velasco should have defended himself as Cayetano delivered his privilege speech Wednesday, according to House deputy speaker Laguna 1st District Rep. Dan Fernandez.

"There’s nobody to blame but himself. If I myself is a presumptive Speaker already and I’m being attacked on the floor yesterday, I should’ve (stood), I should have defended myself yesterday," he told ANC.

"I assume kahapon wala rin siya sa Zoom kaya hindi man lang siya nakapaginterpellate or hindi man lang nadepensa ang kaniyang sarili. It’s not our fault na nangyari sa kanya 'to. It’s his fault."

(I assume he was not present in the Zoom meeting that's why he was not able to interpellate or defend himself. It's not our fault this happened to him.)

Velasco also never reached out to other lawmakers, even members of his political party, dominant PDP-Laban, Fernandez said.

"For so many months we've been working together... hindi namin po siya nakasama. He never approached us, he never worked with us, with all the measures that we have approved that was set by the executive department," he said.

"It’s not outmaneuvering, I would say this is the voice of the majority of the House. We have spoken that Speaker Cayetano should stay. We don’t want him to resign. Anytime they can ask for a change in leadership if they have the numbers."

In a term-sharing deal brokered by President Rodrigo Duterte, Cayetano was supposed to hand over the reins of the House to Velasco after 15 months, which counts to October this year. Velasco, then, will serve for the remaining 21 months of the session.