House minority vows cooperation with Speaker Velasco

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 16 2020 11:49 AM

Manila 6th District Rep. Benny Abante during the voting on ABS-CBN’s application for franchise renewal on July 10, 2020. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA – The minority at the House of Representatives is committed to work with newly installed House Speaker Lord Allan Velasco, especially on passing the proposed 2021 national budget, its leader said Friday.

Speaking to ANC’s “Matters of Fact,” Manila 6th District Rep. Bienvenido Abante said the minority bloc would abide by what the institution decides.

“I told him he can rest assured I’m going to work together with him to pass the budget and for the future relation that we are going to have,” he said.

This, despite signing a manifesto in September supporting the continued speakership of Velasco’s rival, Taguig 1st District Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano.

“We were saying that we do not want to rock the boat in the middle of ocean while the wind is boisterous,” he said. 

“Also we said that perhaps in this pandemic, we just continue to on. Kalimutan muna ‘yung mga (let’s set aside the) political intramurals and let’s go above politics and let’s approve the budget.

“Pero nakita namin ngayon na (But we saw that) even if there’s a change in leadership, the budget will be approved on time,” he added.

On Monday, over 180 lawmakers elected Velasco as the new Speaker, ousting Cayetano from the chamber’s top post. His election was formalized in plenary the next day, and Cayetano announced his resignation on Facebook. 

Cayetano had wanted to prolong his stay at the House helm despite a term-sharing agreement with Velasco, who was due to take over this month.

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