Velasco camp to declare all House positions vacant

Published October 2, 2020, 6:33 PM

by Ben Rosario

The camp of speakership hopeful Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco may have telegraphed its punches when it revealed that all positions in the House of Representatives will be declared vacant if his speakership rival, incumbent Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano, will not step down on Oct. 14.

In a television interview Friday, AAMBIS-OWA party-list Rep. Sharon Garin said the Velasco camp will ask Cayetano to respect the gentleman’s agreement for a 15-21 sharing of the speakership on Oct. 14.

The date was the day chosen by Cayetano, Velasco, and President Duterte for the incumbent speaker to give up the post to honor the agreement he and Velasco reached last year.

“They will pursue the 15-21 agreement and then declare the position vacant and then we will see how each and every congressman will decide,” said Garin, chairperson of the House Committee on Economic Affairs.

“Will they follow what the President suggested or not and that will determine the fate of Congress,” she stated.

Based on Garin’s statement, the Velasco camp did not take seriously last Wednesday’s voting on the speakership of Cayetano.

The Speaker offered to resign but his allies quickly blocked the move by calling for a vote on whether or not House members would allow it.

A total 184 of congressmen rejected Cayetano’s resignation but included among the voters were Velasco allies who believed that the plenary proceedings were all but for show.

Buhay party-list Rep. Lito Atienza said he voted against Cayetano’s bid to resign because this is not what the speaker promised to do when Duterte called him, Velasco, and their respective allies to a meeting Tuesday.

Atienza said the Wednesday voting was “an episode in the on-going tele-drama” aimed at boosting Cayetano’s bid to renege on his pledge to abide by the 15-21 term sharing agreement and to continue as speaker.

Garin attended the Malacanang meeting as a member of Velasco’s contingent.