Marinduque Representative Lord Allan Velasco will replace Alan Peter Cayetano as the House Speaker on October 14, following President Rodrigo Duterte’s intervention in the “power struggle” at the Congress, Inquirer reported Tuesday night.
Duterte met with Velasco and current House Speaker Alan Cayetano at the Palace to settle their term-sharing agreement in leading the 300-member chamber.
According to multiple sources, Cayetano and Velasco settled to honor their initial “15-21” term-sharing deal.
The speakership term-sharing agreement was supposed to be 15 months for Cayetano and 21 months for Velasco.
President Rodrigo Duterte arranged the agreement at the start of the 18th Congress in July last year.
The speakership turn over would take place on October 14, one of the House insiders said. Neither Velasco nor Cayetano responded to requests for comments on the matter.
Lord Velasco to replace Cayetano as House Speaker on Oct. 14
“Tapos na po ang [laban] (the fight is over). #1521,” Ron Munsayac, executive director and public information office chair of Velasco’s Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban), wrote on Twitter, using a boxing glove emoji.
Cayetano is from the Nacionalista Party and has sought to consolidate his alliances in the coalition, including with National Unity Party, Lakas-CMD, and allied party-list groups. He was also Duterte’s running mate during the 2015 national elections.
Velasco, meanwhile, is also known as a supporter of Duterte. Lord Velasco and his wife Rowena Velasco are close to the President’s daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte.
Last week, Velasco issued a statement urging Cayetano to order their term-sharing deal.
“When the House Speakership term-sharing agreement was entered into, it was based on mutual trust and confidence. After all, it was an agreement brokered by and forged in the presence of no less than President Rodrigo Duterte,” he said.
“The covenant was crystal clear: a 15-21 term-sharing agreement. The first term expires on Sept 30, after which the second term immediately begins. That was the pledge made before the President. As true leaders and as examples for our people, both sides are obligated to avoid situations or statements that would subvert the agreement and betray the trust of our people who’ve stood witness to the covenant,” he added.