House speakership battle heats up; Sara Duterte backs Velasco

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As the chief executive calls for the immediate passage of the proposed P4.5-T budget for 2021, a series of events over the weekend have revealed the political turmoil unfolding within the House of Representatives.

The root cause is clearly the House Speakership tussle between incumbent House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano and his supposed successor Marinduque Representative Lord Allan Velasco.

On Sunday, a photo was posted showing Velasco having an intimate dinner with presidential daughter and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte. The photo was taken Friday, the same day President Rodrigo Duterte certified the budget bill as urgent and ordered House to conduct a special session from October 13 to 16 to get the job done.

Velasco’s ally Doy Leachon said that the photo signals an endorsement from the President’s daughter rallying for Velasco to take his rightful place as Speaker according to the term-sharing deal forged last year.

Then, Cayetano’s camp called an unscheduled press conference Sunday afternoon.

Deputy Speaker LRay Villafuerte, an ally of Cayetano, showed proof that Velasco’s allies are rallying support for a supposed plot to oust his ally.

“Makikita nyo na itong ang mga strongest supporters ni Lord Velasco na rallying congressmen on Monday to attend and have leadership change,” Villafuerte said.

[You will see that the strongest supporters of Lord Velasco are rallying congressmen on Monday to attend the leadership change.]

“They can do whatever they want, but sila po ang lumalabag sa kagustuhan ng Pangulo at dapat managot po sila sa taong-bayan kung madelay po ang budget [they are the ones going against the President’s wishes and they will have to answer to the people should the budget be delayed].”

It looks like the conclusion is coming as Monday morning, Velasco allies have reportedly gathered to elect him as new Speaker.

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