House rejects Cayetano’s offer to resign

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House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano offered to resign as leader of the House of Representatives, saying Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco is eager to take over the lower chamber. This was quickly rejected by his colleagues, mostly allies, in the House.

In a privilege speech, Cayetano said he was resigning as House Speaker.

“I will not be a party to letting the President down. So I’m offering my resignation, here and now, to you my dear colleagues. My fate and the fate of the 2021 budget, and the fate of the leadership of the House is in your hands,” Cayetano told Velasco during the last part of his speech.

He said he was resigning to let Velasco prove that he could be in charge of crucial deliberations on the 2021 budget. 

“Congressman Velasco told the President that he is ready. Then I think the best time for him to prove it is now. Gusto mo ng Sept. 30? Sige. If our colleagues want you today, ikaw na. Let him show that he can pass the budget on time, but more than that, let him show that it will be a great budget. A budget that all of us will be proud of,” Cayetano said.

House lawmakers readily moved to reject his resignation, voting to retain him as head of the administration-dominated House. Nominal voting is still ongoing. 

Buhay Party-list Rep. Lito Atienza also voted to reject the resignation, but said Cayetano “should resign on Oct. 14,” the reported time of the agreed turnover.

Velasco has yet to respond to requests for comment.

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