MANILA - House Minority Leader Bienvenido Abante said Thursday he is ready to yield his position to Taguig-Pateros Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano, who was ousted as House Speaker earlier this week, should he want it.
Abante, who represents Manila City's 6th District, expressed doubts, however, that Cayetano is interested.
"Of course, we welcome him on that and sa akin (for me), if he is willing to get the Minority Leader position, I would be very glad to give that," he said when asked about Cayetano joining the minority bloc.
"If he wants to be the Minority Leader, we'll talk about it. Pero alam mo, palagay ko, I don't think he will get that - from being the Speaker of the House, he would like to be the Minority [Leader]. I have not yet heard any statement concerning that actually."
The leader will be elected among minority members, according to House rules, Abante said.
"At this point in time, it will be the choice of the minority who will become the Minority Leader. At this point in time, there are no changes that is happening. I don't know who will be interested. But still, it will be upon the minority or others who would join the minority, who actually did not vote for the Speaker," he said.
"Kung di nila binoto ang Speaker (If they did not vote for the Speaker), then they would have the right to be in the minority. Kapag nangyari yan, siguro magmi-meeting kami (If that happens, we'll meet) to be able to choose who will be the Minority Leader. If they still want me to be the Minority Leader, I would want to still be the Minority Leader. I'll cross the bridge when we get there."
Abante said he doesn't expect major changes in the House leadership until after the resumption of sessions in November.
"At this point in time, hindi pa pinag-uusapan yan because syempre, we're still busy trying to address the budget. Perhaps, pagkatapos niyan, the Speaker Lord Allan will be discussing that," he said.
(At this point in time, we have not discussed that because of course, we're still busy trying to address the budget. Perhaps, afterwards, Speaker Lord Allan will be discussing that.)
Ang Magsasaka Party List Rep. Argel Cabatbat bared plans to transfer to the Majority, but has yet to formalize his switch, Abante said.