MANILA – Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco has urged House of Representatives Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano to finish the deliberations on the proposed P4.5-trillion national budget for 2021 and resign by October 14.
“Speaker Cayetano, you gave your word in front of the President to honor the term-sharing agreement. Please, I appeal to you, finish the budget and resign on October 14,” Velasco said in a video posted on his Facebook page.
He added that in the coming days and weeks and months, “let us show the public that we, as their representatives, are still decent, honorable, and trustworthy leaders whose only agenda is to serve the people.”
Velasco said Cayetano is trying to hang on to the House Speaker post, using the deliberations on the 2021 national budget as a “pretext” which only raises suspicion.
“Is this budget really for the nation or for your [Cayetano] group? Is this why Speaker Cayetano and his sidekicks are adamant in fiercely fighting the peaceful transition of the House leadership? Is this why Speaker Cayetano is trying to blackmail President Duterte and hold the budget hostage if his term is not extended,?” he asked.
In an earlier speech before his House colleagues, Cayetano offered to step down. The House plenary rejected his offer by a 184-1-9 vote. His offer came amidst his speakership row with Velasco over their 15-21-month term-sharing deal.
From Malacañang, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said Duterte would no longer interfere in the speakership row between his two House allies and would rather respect the votes of its members.