‘Problem’ if Cayetano will not honor term-sharing deal: Duterte

MANILA There will be a problem in case House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano fails to honor his term-sharing agreement with Marinduque Representative Lord Allan Velasco, President Rodrigo Duterte has cautioned.

The President made the statement, even as he earlier refused to intervene in the House speakership term-sharing deal between Cayetano and Velasco, who are both his allies.

I was there when we agreed, [It was the] three of us, and I announced it after, Duterte said in an exclusive interview with GMA News aired on 24 Oras on Monday night.

He (Cayetano) does not want to honor it. That's his problem, the President said.

Last July 8, it was Duterte who first announced the term-sharing agreement between the two congressmen.

The term-sharing deal allows Cayetano to serve as the top leader of the House of Representatives until October 2020 and mandates him to step down from office to pave way for Velasco's assumption as House Speaker until the 18th Congress ends in 2022.

On October 28, Cayetano admitted that he was open to the idea of scrapping the term-sharing agreement in order for him to serve a full term of House Speakership, should Velasco agrees to it.

Cayetano initially issued the statement after his allies in the 304-strong chamber raised the possibility that he might retain his post as House speaker, considering his recent strong approval and trust scores.

Duterte, who initially opted to distance himself from the issues hounding Cayetano and Velasco, said that he might step in, in the event that tension arises between the two lawmakers, as well as the House of Representatives.

It is going to be a problem so we will solve the problem when we are there. Wala pa naman (But it has yet to happen). It remains to be hypothetical, he said.

On November 11, Cayetano assured Velasco that he would honor the term-sharing agreement between them.

Velasco expressed confidence that Cayetano would allow him to take over in 2020, saying that a gentleman's agreement is a gentleman's agreement. (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency

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