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Philippine president Duterte wants House leaders to honor term-sharing deal

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte (Source: AFP/VNA). Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

MANILA, Sep 22, 2020, Tempo. President Duterte is hopeful the term-sharing deal between House Speaker Alan Cayetano and Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco will be honored but will leave to the lawmakers to ultimately decide on the House leadership, Malacañang said Tuesday, Tempo reported.

According to Presidential spokesman Harry Roque, the President noted that if Velasco is unable to get enough support for his assumption to the House leadership, then so be it.

“He’s hoping tutupad sa usapan ang partido pero kung wala pong numbers si Congressman Lord Allan, eh wala siyang magagawa,” Roque said during a televised press briefing Tuesday.

“So the President is hoping that the Speaker and Congressman Velasco will honor their agreement but ultimately the decision will be the decision of the individual congressmen,” he added.

Roque said this was the President’s latest response when he asked him about the leadership conflict in the House of Representatives.

“Ang sabi po niya, to quote talaga is: “Kung walang numero si Lord Allan, wala siyang magagawa,” Roque said.

In July 2019, Cayetano and Velasco, both administration allies, agreed to split the House leadership under an arrangement endorsed by President Duterte. Cayetano is expected to serve as Speaker for 15 months, followed by Velasco for the remaining 21 months. If the deal is followed, Cayetano should turn over the top House post to Velasco next month.

Recently, Deputy Speaker Paolo Duterte reportedly threatened to move to declare the positions of the Speaker vacant amid the alleged bickering over budget allocations in the congressional districts. (Genalyn Kabiling)

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