MANILA - Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco is welcome to give a privilege speech before the House after Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano said he failed to prove his mettle to lead the chamber, its minority leader said Thursday.
Cayetano, in a nearly hourlong speech, criticized Velasco for his alleged absenteeism and for being uncooperative in his attempts to unite both camps.
"Pwede naman si Cong. Lord Allan Velasco ay pumunta... and we invite him to go to Congress para mag-privilege speech din po siya," House Minority Leader Bienvenido Abante told ABS-CBN's Teleradyo.
(Cong. Lord Allan Velasco can go...and we invite him to Congress to also give a privilege speech.)
"Kung tatanggapin po ni Lord Allan ay magsalita rin po siya sa Kongreso."
(If he accepts, he can speak before Congress.)
Cayetano and Velasco last year agreed to a term-sharing agreement that President Rodrigo Duterte brokered. Cayetano was 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.
Cayetano on Wednesday offered to quit his post, a move that his colleagues readily rejected with a 184-1-9 vote. Some 121 lawmakers were absent, Abante said.
"Sa palagay ko naman ang mag kongresista ay bumoto ayon sa kanilang konsensya. I would take it to be na ang ating congressmen ay ayaw din po nila na sa kalagitnaan ng budget deliberations ay magbago ng leadership," he said.
(I believe congressmen voted according to their conscience. I take it they also don't want to change leadership in the middle of budget deliberations.)
"Palagay ko po sa aking pagkakakilala kay Speaker Alan Peter tutuparin niya ang term sharing na yan, ang kahilingan lamang ay tapusin muna ang budget deliberations namin."
(I think Speaker Alan Peter will uphold the term sharing. He just wants to finish budget deliberations first.)