Duterte should send ‘clear signal’ on House speakership issue — Sen. Lacson

Published October 7, 2020, 6:22 PM

by Mario Casayuran

Senator Panfilo M. Lacson suggested Wednesday that President Duterte should really come up with a clear signal, not necessarily instruction, on who should really be the Speaker of the House of Representatives.


Both Speaker Alan Peter S. Cayetano and Marinduque Representative Lord Allan Velasco,  are known to be the President’s men.       

President Duterte was present when Cayetano gave his word that he would step down as Speaker after he has finished the first half of his three-year term and hand it to Velasco.     

 Cayetano recently offered to resign but majority of his colleagues in the House rejected it. They want to keep him as the House Speaker.       

Lacson expressed the belief that President Duterte, as Chief Executive, would refuse to instruct or interfere with the affairs of the Legislature, a co-equal branch of government.         

‘’I think mas klaro ang signal mare-resolve ang issue. Kung hindi clear ang binibigay na position ng Malacanang especially the President because after all he’s the leader of the party,’’ Lacson told Senate reporters.(I think a clear signal will resolve the issue, The President is the leader of the party.)        

Lacson said the absence of a clear signal paves the way to many interpretations.        

Velasco had stated that Cayetano, a veteran politician, should honor the ‘’gentleman’s agreement’’ that they forged in the presence of the President.      

 Lacson said passage of the proposed 2021 P4.5 trillion national budget before the end of the year has been dimmed as a result of the Cayetano-Velasco dispute.       

Asked whether Dutrerte should intervene, Lacson replied that ‘’there are discussions we are not privy to kung anong nangyari, sila lang nakakaalam noon. (We are not privy to what has happened as they are the only ones who know.)        

‘’And since nag-broker din naman, hindi dine-deny na nai-broker ng term sharing, I think Malacañang or the President should really come up with a clear signal not necessarily instruction,’’ he added. (Since the President has brokered and he is not denying the term-sharing, I think…)             

Lacson cited the case in the United States where the choice of the Speaker is sometimes left to the ruling party.        

‘’So I don’t think it’s anomalous for the President to really make his position clear kung sino ba talaga ang dapat umupong Speaker, whether it’s Speaker Cayetano or Rep. Velasco. Basta klaro lang para maiwasan ang ganyang gulo. Nadadamay ang budget eh. Sayang,’’ he added. (..the President to really make his position clear of who should really sit as Speaker – whether it is Speaker Cayetano or Representative Velasco. It should be clear to prevent such bickering. The budget has been an innocent victim. A pity.)