Solons: No House coup vs Alan | Malaya Business Insight

Reference:
Vigilia, W. (2019, July 18). Solons: No House coup vs Alan. Malaya Business Insight. Retrieved July 18, 2019 from https://www.malaya.com.ph/business-news/news/solons-no-house-coup-vs-alan

Solons: No House coup vs Alan
By WENDELL VIGILIA – July 18, 2019

STAUNCH supporters of Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez yesterday shot down rumors there is a brewing “coup” against presumptive speaker Alan Peter Cayetano, saying there is no way that the term-sharing agreement between him and Marinduque Rep. Lord Alan Velasco will not be executed when the 18th Congress opens session on Monday.

Anakalusugan party-list Rep. Mike Defensor said that even before congressmen had pressed President Duterte to pick his candidate for speaker, supporters of the three candidates were already prepared to accept the term-sharing agreement.

Under the deal, which was brokered by Duterte, Cayetano will serve for 15 months followed by Velasco for 21 months, while Romualdez will be the majority leader.

“So yes, it (term-sharing) is accepted and everyone now is helping out in the organization of the House,” Defensor told ANC. “I don’t think so, I don’t think there will be a coup, I think everyone respects the pronouncement of the President and as we’re talking now, they’ve been fixing the organization of the House.”

The speakership race between Cayetano and Velasco had divided the administration coalition at the House. Romualdez, on the other hand, had his own group of supporters pushing for his speakership bid. The impasse among the three was resolved after a meeting with Duterte earlier this month.

Presidential son Davao City Rep. Paolo “Pulong” Duterte, however, last week warned of a “coup” on Monday, saying a lawmaker may defy his father’s decision to pick Cayetano as the speaker.

The younger Duterte claimed that one of the speakership contenders may stage a coup on Monday but the President has dismissed it as “wishful thinking.”

Paolo and sister Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte are endorsing Davao City Rep. Isidro Ungab for speaker and proposed that Cayetano be the majority leader.

Albay Rep. Joey Salceda also shot down the coup rumor, saying the President has already made it clear that Cayetano and Velasco will share the position.

“I can tell you, at the rate we’re working together (to organize the House), there is definitely no chance that those arrangement will not materialize on Monday,” he told a news forum in Manila.

Defensor and Salceda were among the more than 160 congressmen who backed Romualdez’ speakership bid.

“We will have a Speaker, he’s called Alan Peter Cayetano, we will have a majority leader and his name is Martin Romualdez, and we will have LAV (Lord Allan Velasco) as a support, depending on what committee he wants and what position he wants,” Salceda said.

Salceda said the House remains “independent” in the sense that out of the 30 major national laws, only five were commitments that the President made in his previous state of the nation address (SONA).

“Twenty-five were essentially initiatives of the House. That doesn’t make us independent?” He said.

“Believe me, the House the House is stable, very stable. It’s just the appearances of a commotion because there are 156 neophyte congressmen, that’s all.”

COMMITTED

Cayetano, in a meeting with neophyte lawmakers Tuesday night, made it clear that he is “sincerely” committed to the agreement with Velasco.

“I just want to say: I am sincere in following the President’s 15-21 formula,” Cayetano told rookie lawmakers who attended an orientation seminar on the administration’s legislative agenda at the SM Aura in Taguig City.

On the same evening at the Edsa Shangri-La Hotel, Romualdez threw a thanksgiving party for lawmakers who supported his speakership bid.

At least a hundred lawmakers attended the event, which was also graced by former speaker Gloria Arroyo.

“I want to join hands with all of you. To give thanks and pray to make sure that this 18th Congress may be the best Congress of the Republic of the Philippines because the people deserve the best.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you very much. We love you all and we will see you next week and we will be working hard together,” Romualdez told his allies who applauded him several times during his speech.

Romualdez, who is known for his good rapport with colleagues, chatted with the lawmakers from all political parties and influential blocs up to 1:30 a.m.

He also thanked his colleagues for helping the entire Eastern Visayas, especially hardest-hit Tacloban City, recover from super typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) in 2013.

“There was a time, not too many years ago and that was after Yolanda when my district, the hardest hit district was demolished. So many people were dead and hopeless. And all of you came to help us. And that is why we are back and that is why I’m here – that the remaining years of my public service – I would also like to give back and return the favor to each and every one of you,” Romualdez said.

SHOW OF FORCE?

Defensor said the thanksgiving dinner was not a show of force, stressing that Romualdez had already thrown his support behind Cayetano.

“I think in the same manner, if Cong. Allan Velasco would call for a get-together, many of us will also be attending because we still don’t know many (of our colleagues). There are 300 of us and many, about 100 neophyte members of the House, so this would be a good way to know each other before the official SONA (State of the Nation Address) of the President,” Defensor told reporters.

Defensor, one Arroyo’s closest lieutenants when she was president, said any future gathering “will have no effect on the announcement of the President.”

Actress Toni Gonzaga and The Voice of the Philippines Season 2 winner Jason Dy serenaded the guests and a live band played almost the entire event. Actress Karla Estrada also attended the thanksgiving dinner.

Category: National | Malaya Business Insight

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