‘PASS THE BUDGET’. Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco (center) on Friday (Oct. 2, 2020) called on Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano to finish the deliberations on the proposed PHP4.5-trillion national budget for 2021. He also asked Cayetano to honor their term-sharing agreement and resign by October 14. (Photo courtesy of Rep. Velasco’s FB page)
MANILA – Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco on Friday appealed to House of Representatives Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano to finish the deliberations on the proposed PHP4.5-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.
“In the coming days and weeks and months, let us show the public that we, as your representatives, are still decent, honorable, and trustworthy leaders whose only agenda is to serve the people,” he added.
Velasco said Cayetano’s attempt to hang on to the speakership on the “pretext” of the budget deliberations for the 2021 national budget only raises suspicion.
“Budget ba ito para sa bayan o budget ng mga barkada mo? Makabuluhang budget ba ito sa gitna ng pandemya o malaking budget ba ito para sa grupo mo? (Is this budget really for the nation or for your [Cayetano] group? Is this really a significant budget amid the pandemic or a huge budget for your group?),” he said. “Is this why Speaker Cayetano and his sidekicks are adamant in fiercely fighting the peaceful transition of House leadership? Is this why Speaker Cayetano is trying to blackmail President (Rodrigo) Duterte and hold the budget hostage if his term is not extended?”
Velasco hit back at Cayetano, whom he said “shamelessly and unabashedly resorted to attacking me and spreading lies.”
He argued that this is the House’s top leader’s “desperate attempt” to hang on to power and tighten his grip on the chamber’s helm.
Cayetano offered to step down in a speech before fellow lawmakers on Wednesday amid the speakership row stemming from a 15-21 term-sharing deal with Velasco.
The House plenary rejected Cayetano’s offer of resignation with a 184-1-9 vote.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque on Thursday said Duterte would no longer interfere in the House speakership row between his two allies because he recognizes the votes of its members.
Roque, however, said lawmakers have to respond to the President’s appeal to passing the proposed PHP4.5-trillion budget for 2021 without delay. (PNA)