‘Sara Duterte endorsement of Velasco could spell the end of Cayetano as Speaker’

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 12 2020 09:24 AM | Updated as of Oct 12 2020 12:14 PM

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MANILA – An endorsement from Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio can install Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Jay Velasco to power and spell the end of Taguig-Pateros 1st District Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano as House Speaker, a lawmaker said Monday.

The President’s daughter is an influential figure who holds “some sort of influence in the block in Congress,” Surigao del Norte 2nd District Rep. Robert Ace Barbers told ANC’s “Matters of Fact”.

“Well, it may probably be perceived that way,” he said. 

“It happened in the past and history will tell us that Speaker Bebot Alvarez who had a strong bond and relationship with the President was replaced after apparently Mayor Sara and the children of the President started campaigning in favor of former President GMA.”

Duterte-Carpio was credited for orchestrating a House coup that toppled Davao del Norte 1st District Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez from the chamber’s helm in July 2018.

The Davao City mayor is a member of the ruling party PDP-Laban and chairperson of the regional party Hugpong ng Pagbabago.

“Not to mention Mayor Sara is the daughter of the President. Whatever moves she does could somehow be attributed to the move or endorsement of the President,” said Barbers, an ally of Cayetano. 

“There’s a big influence if indeed there was support being extended by Mayor Sara to congressman Velasco.”

Velasco, who is challenging Cayetano to step down from his post, met with Duterte-Carpio on Friday, a move seen as endorsement for the speakership.

Under the term-sharing deal that President Rodrigo Duterte brokered last year, Cayetano will lead the House of Representatives for the first 15 months of the 18th Congress or until October, while Velasco will serve for the remaining 21 months.

However, Barbers maintained that Cayetano had no intention of reneging the term-sharing deal.

“He’s been open in saying that he’s going to honor the agreement provided we finished first the budget,” he said.

The lower chamber will hold a special session from Oct. 13 to 16 to speed up the passage of the proposed 2021 budget.

“We all agreed, both the majority and minority, that in this special session that will commence on the 13th, no politics will be part of the agenda, no speakership row will be discussed,” Barbers said.