Cayetano is buying time to retain position as Speaker, lawmaker says

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House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano is just buying his time for him to get the numbers to keep his position, an ally of his rival.

Cayetano was supposed to lead the chamber only for the first 15 months of the 18th Congress, while Velasco would assume leadership for the next 21 months. 

According to Oriental Mindoro 1st District Rep. Salvador “Doy” Leachon, around 161 lawmakers so far have expressed support to Velasco.

“S’yempre (Of course) to buy time kasi kung magtatagal na naman (because the more time they have) there will be machinations they can do again to entice members to be on their side,” Leachon said.

Leachon also pointed out that instead of fast-tracking the passage of next year’s budget, the move to suspend session early to avoid Speakership election has sidetracked the lower chamber from their job.

“Sensing there will be elections, they suspended it. As a consequence, the budget is actually sidelined contrary to the directive of the President to fast track it.”

Senators warned that the passage of the P4.5-trillion 2021 national budget may be delayed due to the House’s decision.