Oriental Mindoro 1st District Rep. Salvador “Doy” Leachon said that Duterte, in his meeting with Cayetano and Velasco late Tuesday, stressed the importance of honoring one’s word and enforcing the Speakership term-sharing deal.
Under the agreement that he brokered last year, Cayetano will lead the House for the first 15 months of the 18th Congress or until October, while Velasco would assume leadership for the next 21 months.
“Hinihintay niyang (Duterte) magsalita ang both parties. He didn’t want to impose, even though he was very clear in his heart, in his mind what he wanted to convey,” Leachon said in an interview.
“Hindi niya sinabing, ‘O sumunod kayo sa akin.’ He just let these two agree on some terms.”
[He was waiting for both parties to speak… He did not say, ‘Obey me.’]
Cayetano, Velasco and the Speaker’s allies Deputy Speaker Luis Raymund Villafuerte, Sagip Party-list Rep. Rodante Marcoleta and Bulacan 1st District Rep. Jose Antonio Sy-Alvarado all gave speeches before the President, said Leachon.
Cayetano’s allies vehemently denied this accusation in a separate interview.
This accusation is “a total lie,” said Villafuerte. “Sana ilabas ‘yung footage.”
(I hope the footage is made public.)
“I said, Mr. President, we want a leader who is with us all the way, in good times and in bad times.”
“We want a leader who will lead us, who has a voice, who has a stand. ‘Yun ang sinabi ko exactly. We appeal that if you let Congress and its members decide,” he said.
The supposed Oct. 14 leadership change, however, “was not clear” during the meeting, claimed Cayetano’s ally Villafuerte.
“How can you be the new Speaker? You still have to be voted upon,” he said. “Ang nangyari, wala pang 2 minutes, may bagong Speaker na, and then nagkaroon na ng date, October 14. I was there, wala namang sinabi ang Presidente na October 14,” he said.
[What happened was in less than 2 minutes, there was a new Speaker and there was even a date, Oct. 14. I was there and the President did not mention Oct. 14.]