Malacañang said Wednesday that it would be awkward if the Palace would announce the who really won the House Speaker “battle” at the Congress.
“I’m surprised why there has not been any pronouncement from Congress, but it would be awkward if the announcement on the leadership of the House will come from the Palace,” presidential spokesperson Harry Roque told ANC in an interview.
Inquirer reported Tuesday night that Marinduque Representative Lord Allan Velasco would replace Alan Peter Cayetano as the House Speaker on October 14, following President Rodrigo Duterte’s intervention the “power struggle” at the Congress.
However, the camps of Velasco and Cayetano issued conflicting claims on what really happened during the meeting.
Oriental Mindoro Representative Doy Leachon said both camps agreed that Velasco would take over as the House Speaker.
“Clearly, the position of the President is to enforce. Huwag na pasakitin ang ulo ng pangulo, and that is what we expect: the enforcement of the agreement brokered 15 months ago by no less than the President. The question only is as to when and both parties agreed, on the presence of the President, on October 14,” Leachon said in an interview on ANC.
Palace announcing House Speaker would be ‘awkward’
Deputy Speaker LRay Villafuerte, however, said Velasco could not celebrate yet because the majority of the House members first need to move the position of Speaker vacant and elect a new one as provided by House Rules.
“Ang sinabi ni President, he will let Alan speak first on what happened. Wala pang two minutes, nagkaroon na ng date, October 14. Wala naman sinabi eh. I am 100% sure na hindi sinabi ‘yun,” Villafuerte said in the same ANC interview.
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.
“I know that the President values palabra de honor and that’s a phrase that I have heard from his own mouth,” Roque said.
“But I know that the President is also a seasoned politician. He knows that he can only endorse someone to a certain extent, but if there really is a choice amongst them he cannot do anything about it.”