PDP-Laban won’t  take  part  in ‘unfounded’ ouster plot vs. Cayetano – Deputy Speaker Johnny Pimentel

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There are  no moves to oust Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano from his post at the House of Representatives, PDP-Laban Deputy Speaker Johnny Pimentel said on Sunday.

“As far as PDP-Laban is concerned, being their spokesperson, I can categorically say na wala talagang nangyayaring kudeta. I think it is baseless and unfounded,” Pimentel said.

“In fact, we already released a statement that we do not have any knowledge of this supposed ouster plan or coup d’etat and we will not participate if ever there is a plan,” Pimentel said.

Cayetano had alleged that Marinduque Representative Lord Allan Velasco was working to have him removed from his post at the chamber by offering leadership posts to lawmakers and assuring them of budgetary allocations for their districts.

Cayetano claimed that there were at least 20 congressmen who told him that Velasco had made the offer.

Velasco,  of PDP-Laban, would take over as speaker by October in accordance with his and Cayetano’s “15-21” term-sharing agreement brokered by President Rodrigo Duterte at the beginning of the 18th Congress.

However, Pimentel pointed out that it made no sense for Velasco to plot against Cayetano as the former need only wait seven months before assuming the speakership under the term-sharing deal.

“Meron nang pinag-usapan na term-sharing agreement, and according to Cong. Lord Velasco, and that is also the stand of PDP-Laban, that we will honor the term-sharing agreement,” Pimentel said.

“Kasi it is useless, non-sense kung gagawa pa tayo ng kudeta e pipitong buwan na lang. Sabi nga ni Cong. Lord Velasco, bakit pa tayo gagawa nun?” he added.

Pimentel said that the supposed ouster plan would bring division to the House of Representatives, which he said was not what PDP-Laban lawmakers wanted considering that pending legislation they needed to pass.

“We in PDP-Laban, gusto natin may katahimikan diyan sa Kongreso because there are a lot of things that need to be done. Nandiyan pa yung prangkisa ng ABS-CBN, nandiyan pa yung constitutional amendments. There are so many bills that needs urgency, tapos gagawa tayo ng ganito?” he said.

Pimentel urged the supposed 20 congressmen to openly speak on Cayetano’s allegations.

“Basta kami sa PDP-Laban, we will not be a part of any plan to oust Speaker Cayetano. In fact, we are committed to support our Speaker Cayetano during his incumbency as Speaker and we will support all the plans and programs of Speaker Cayetano for Congress especially in support of the legislative agenda of the President,” Pimentel said.

Meanwhile, Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano is standing by his principles and his brand of leadership at the House of Representatives amid reports of an ouster plot against him.

“I believe in what I believe. I will not be transactional. I will not sacrifice my principles and this administration’s priorities,” Cayetano said in a statement  posted on his Facebook page on Saturday night.

Among these principles, he said, include his belief that all forms of gambling, including Philippine Offshore Gaming Operations, lead to misery, that those who owe the government should pay their dues, and that the annual national budget should be free from pork and corruption.

“I believe most members of Congress see and appreciate the reforms I stand for. If they do, then I will continue to serve as their Speaker,” Cayetano said.

“If they don’t, then they can remove me, I will continue to serve as the Representative of Taguig and Pateros. I will continue the lonely fight with whoever will join me,” he added.

Cayetano earlier accused Marinduque Representative Lord Allan Velasco of working to have him removed from his post at the chamber by offering leadership posts to lawmakers and assuring them of budgetary allocations for their districts.

Velasco is set to assume Cayetano’s position by October in accordance with their “15-21” term-sharing agreement brokered no less than by President Rodrigo Duterte at the beginning of the 18th Congress.

Velasco, however, has denied reports of the “coup plan” and maintained that he will honor the term-sharing deal.

Cayetano also said the issues on the national budget and on the franchise renewal of the ABS-CBN are being used to call for his resignation at the House.

“I believe in silver linings. So thank you to the Triple A Boys in Congress — ‘yung mga puro absent, sipsip sa ABS-CBN, at ‘yung mga nag-aantay lang ng allotments — you’ve shown me just how desperately we need to reform this institution. You have strengthened my resolve to continue the fight,” he said.

Cayetano has assured that ABS-CBN will not shut down its operations as the bills seeking for its franchise renewal are pending before the House of Representatives./Stacy Ang

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