'Majority' want Cayetano to stay as Speaker even beyond December - Villafuerte


Posted at Oct 08 2020 09:33 AM | Updated as of Oct 08 2020 09:47 AM

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MANILA - An ally of House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano on Thursday said majority of lawmakers in the House of Representatives want Cayetano to stay in his post even until next year amid the ongoing speakership row and deliberations on the 2021 budget.

Under a term-sharing deal brokered by President Rodrigo Duterte in 2019, Cayetano was supposed to lead the House of Representatives for 15 months before turning over the role to Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco. The agreement was set to take effect this month.

"For sure, the majority wants him to stay," Deputy Speaker LRay Villafuerte said when asked if Cayetano intends to stay until December when both chambers of Congress are expected to pass the budget for next year.

"If the President respects the majority, I think the majority wants him to stay even beyond December," he told ANC's Headstart.

Villafuerte said the term-sharing deal was "invalidated" when Cayetano offered to resign last Wednesday and the plenary subsequently rejected it.

Velasco sought an audience with Duterte late Monday, and was told he had the right to run for Speaker. His allies had said they would declare the Speaker seat vacant on October 14, when they believe the deal should be enforced.

House session was suspended until November 16 after Cayetano moved to pass the 2021 budget on second reading on Tuesday.