Cayetano offer to resign, plenary vote 'waste of time, abuse of privilege' - Nograles

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 01 2020 05:14 PM

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MANILA - House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano offering to resign during the plenary session and the subsequent vote among his colleagues was a waste of legislative time and an abuse of privilege, a fellow lawmaker said Thursday.

PBA Party-list Rep. Jericho Nograles said he did not participate in the proceedings because he "found it a little absurd" since the internal rules of the House did not mention that a Speaker can offer to resign. Stepping down from the post is "a personal choice" and is not the body to decide, he said.

"This is a waste of legislative time. We have so much to tackle in the budget…We don’t have time in our hands and the Republic of the Philippines cannot wait," he told ANC's Headstart.

Nograles said Cayetano should have went with his initial intention of making his announcement over Facebook Live.

"He should have followed that rather than charge it to taxpayers’ time," he said.

"Correct that it is matter of personal and collective privilege but such privilege should not be abused. Yesterday was an abuse of privilege. It’s sad," he added.

Cayetano addressed the House plenary on Wednesday after meeting with President Rodrigo Duterte and Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco, who was supposed to succeed him as House Speaker under a term-sharing deal. He said he was resigning to let Velasco prove that he could be in charge of deliberations on the 2021 budget. 

Immediately after his speech, allies moved to reject his offer and the plenary voted viva voce. A later nominal voting saw 184 lawmakers elect to let him keep his post.

For Nograles, the whole proceeding did not have an effect except a delay in the budget deliberations as these were suspended until Friday, October 2. He said the supermajority in the House expects the term-sharing agreement as brokered by Duterte enforced.