Duterte greets Cayetano on his birthday, tries to lift his spirit

Published October 28, 2020, 10:38 PM

by Genalyn Kabiling

President Duterte has urged former House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano “not to feel bad” about recent events and voiced confidence he will “do better” next time if given a chance.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte (ARMAN BAYLON/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO)

The President tried to lift the spirits of Cayetano when he extended his birthday greeting to the Taguig congressman Wednesday. Duterte’s short video message was posted on Facebook by Cayetano.

“You need not really feel bad about everything that transpired during the last few days,” Duterte told Cayetano, alluding to the recent leadership squabble in the House of Representatives that ended with his ouster.

“You did your best and next time given the chance I’m sure that you will succeed and do better,” Duterte said.

The President, in the same birthday video greeting, lauded Cayetano for his achievements as a public servant.

“Alan Peter Cayetano, today is a very special day and I’d like to share the glorious moment of another milestone in your life. You have achieved so much,” he said. “Today, I just want to say,  Mabuhay ka. Happy birthday,” he said.

Two weeks ago, Cayetano was forced out of power after House members declared the top post vacant and elected Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco as new Speaker at a sports club in Quezon City. Velasco formally took the reins of the House leadership after his election was ratified by the members of the lower chamber the next day.

Prior to the leadership change, the President reminded the two lawmakers to honor the term-sharing deal where Cayetano was supposed to give way to Velasco after his 15-month stint this month.

But Cayetano abruptly moved for the approval of the proposed 2021 national budget on second reading and suspended the sessions until November 16 apparently to avoid stepping down as part of the term-sharing deal.  The Senate expressed concerned that such House move would delay the passage of the budget before the end of the year.

The President then made an impromptu public address, telling lawmakers to resolve their dispute and pass the budget or else he would do it for them.

But instead of immediately resuming the House session, Cayetano stood his ground and promised to transmit the budget proposal to the Senate by November 5.

Taking another action to address the situation, the President called for a special session of Congress from Oct. 13 to 16 to ensure the passage of the budget. It was then Cayetano was replaced by Velasco during a vote by House members.

Cayetano has already apologized to the President for having misunderstood that the Chief Executive wanted him to complete the budget deliberations before stepping down as part of a term-sharing pact with Velasco. Duterte accepted the apology, according to the Palace.

 
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