Duterte ‘no comment’ on House lawmakers’ decision to let Cayetano stay as Speaker

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President Rodrigo Duterte will respect lawmakers’ decision to let House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano stay in his post despite the term-sharing deal that he himself brokered, Malacañang said Thursday. 

Duterte on Wednesday night met with the Speaker, his wife Taguig Rep. Lani Cayetano, sister Sen. Pia Cayetano, Deputy House Speaker Bro. Eddie Villanueva, and Sen. Christopher “Bong” Go, said Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque. 

The meeting came the same day that Cayetano offered to resign as Speaker, a move that was quickly rejected by a majority of lawmakers. 

“The President has said that he respects whatever the decision of the lawmakers are yesterday. If that was the decision, so be it. If there’s going to be a new decision in the future, that’s up to the House,” Roque said.. 

“Three sentences lang ang sinabi niya, wala akong idinagdag, wala akong binawas: ’Stay out tayo d’yan. No comment tayo d’yan. That’s a purely internal matter of the House of Representatives,’” he added. 

[Duterte only said 3 sentences, I did not add or omit anything: We will stay out of there, we have no comment there.]

A term-sharing deal between Cayetano and Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco was forged by the president last year. Under their “gentleman’s agreement,” Cayetano will hand over the position of Speakership to Velasco after 15 months or in October. Velasco will then serve for the next 21 months. 

As the scheduled change of leadership comes up, Cayetano’s camp claimed that it was not the time for him to go due to budget deliberations. 

Duterte, in a meeting with the two parties, urged Cayetano and Velasco to uphold the term sharing deal.

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