Velasco offering posts, budget for solons amid House ‘coup’ reports, Speaker Cayetano claims


Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano on Thursday has alleged that  Marinduque Representative Lord Alan Velasco has been  talking to some congressmen and offering them positions, as well as budget allocations,  for their districts in order  to gain their favors, amidst  allegations of an ouster plot against him.

Cayetano had earlier claimed the plot  was connected to the issues on the national budget and the House’s inaction on the franchise renewal of ABS-CBN.

Cayetano said about 20 congressmen have told him that they have been offered chairmanship posts and budget allocations supposedly by Velasco.

Speaking at the sidelines of an orientation of a scholarship program in Taguig City, the House Speaker said he was able to get information about  efforts from Velasco’s camp to sabotage the work of the House of Representatives.

Several congressmen were allegedly being offered budget allocations and chairmanship positions once Velasco takes over the lower chamber’s top post, he said.

“Now that he said he will wait, he intends to honor it, honor it by supporting the majority,” said Cayetano.

“Meron kasi mga pananabutahi sa budget na nangyayari ngayon that I had to deal with. Na-trace namin sa kampo nila (There are efforts to sabotage the budget [deliberations] that I had to deal with. We traced it to their camp.),” he said.

Cayetano urged Velasco to honor the term-sharing agreement brokered by President Rodrigo Duterte following a divisive speakership race in 2019.

Under the agreement, he would serve as House Speaker for 15 months and to be succeeded by Velasco for 21 months.

“If you can’t cooperate with the present leadership, umalis muna kayo sa committees niyo, sa chairmanship niyo. Bumalik nalang kayo ‘pag Speaker na si congressman Velasco. Habang ako ang Speaker, we do things by consensus. Kung ano ang tama, ‘yon ang gagawin natin (If you can’t cooperate with the present leadership, you withdraw yourselves from your committees, chairmanships. You return once congressman Velasco becomes the House Speaker. While I’m still the House Speaker, we do things by consensus. On what is right, we do it that way.),” he said.

Cayetano earlier said issues on budget and franchise renewal of media giant ABS-CBN were used to oust him from the speakership.

Velasco had earlier denied reports that he was behind the reported “coup plans” against Cayetano.

Velasco  said  that he will honor the term-sharing agreement between them.

Cayetano said that when it comes to the leadership in the House, he will follow President Rodrigo Duterte’s instruction. But he said the supposed ouster plot against him is “divisive” and disrupts their work in the House.

“Huwag nating guguluhin ang present na pagtrabaho ng ating Kongreso kasi naaapektuhan yung trabaho e. But it’s verified na talagang may mga nag-attempt,” he added.

Cayetano advised those congressmen and House leaders who are involved in the coup plans to just resign from their positions and come back when Velasco is already the Speaker./Stacy Ang

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