Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano said on Sunday that his term-sharing agreement with Marinduque lone district Rep. Lord Allan Velasco is still on, but at the same time underscored that the House of Representatives has been very productive under his watch.
“Ako ang personal commitment ko po sa ating Pangulo bilang head ng koalisyon, maghihintay ako ng advice niya sa tamang oras. Having said that, wala naman po nagbabago sa aming mga napag-usapan. (My personal commitment to the President as head of the coalition is, I will wait for his advice on the proper time to step down. Having said that, there are no changes to our agreement),” Cayetano told DZBB radio in an interview.
“Hindi naman sa pagbubuhat ng bangko ng Kongreso, sa lahat ng aspeto, from 100 to 250 percent, more productive ‘tong Congress na ‘to from the last two Congresses (Not to brag about this Congress, but this Congress has been more productive in all aspects, from 100 to 250 percent, compared to the last two Congresses),” he added.
“In fact, first time ko nakita na during the break, araw-araw pa rin ‘yung hearing or halos tuloy-tuloy pa rin. Nitong nakalipas na araw na ‘to, may gusto pang mag-hearing eh, kaya lang naka-lockdown lang ‘yung Kongreso para sa SoNA (In fact, this is the first time I’ve seen wherein the hearings are non-stop even during the break. There were supposed to be hearings these past few days but Congress had to be placed on lockdown for the State of the Nation Address),” he further said.
Cayetano and Velasco will face each other on Monday as among the very few House members invited to attend the first ever SoNA in Batasang Pambansa complex held during the time of COVID-19.
Last year, President Duterte, chairman of Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban), arranged the term-sharing scheme between his two House allies in order to prevent his political coalition in the legislature from splintering.
Based on the so-called gentleman’s agreement, Velasco will have fully taken over the reins from Cayetano by November this year.
Meanwhile, Cayetano said he expects Velasco to honor the part of their deal wherein the Committee chairmanships in the House would stay the same–except for one or two exemptions–upon the turnover of speakership.
Velasco is Duterte’s partymate in PDP-Laban, while Cayetano belongs to coalition partner, Nacionalista Party.