President Rodrigo Roa Duterte announced on Monday the term-sharing agreement between Taguig-Pateros Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano and Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco as Speaker of the House.
Leyte 1st District Rep. Martin Romualdez, another contender and ally of the President, will be the majority leader under the agreement.
“I tried to distance myself from the… But apparently, I said it’s time that I talk. So…that’s the set-up,” he said in his speech in Malacañang during the oath taking ceremony for newly appointed officials.
President Duterte said that during the campaign, Representatives Cayetano and Velasco both conveyed their intentions to become the House speaker should they win the election. Romualdez expressed his plans after the campaign.
The President expects all parties to honor the agreement.
Asked by reporters on the effect of his move on House’s independence, he said, “There seems to be a crisis already. Nobody was willing to state with certainty. It’s not really independence. I am not interfering with the work sa legislation. Leaders lang itong pinag-usapan natin.”
“It has nothing to do with the independence of the legislative body. Up to that point, it’s all politics. Ganun ‘yan. But interfering in the legislation and in the workings of the Lower House, ibang istorya ‘yon.”
While the contenders agreed to a term-sharing agreement, President Duterte clarified that it is still up to the members of Congress to choose the next House speaker.
“That is their privilege actually. I was just trying to end up the impasse,” he said.
Meanwhile, President Duterte welcomed newly appointed officials to the administration after the oath taking rites in Malacañang. He asked them to help him restore the people’s faith in the government.
“As you assume office, I count on you to do your best to institute lasting reforms that will improve the services in every department, agency, bureau, and instrumentality of our government,” he told the new officials.
“But a dependable and reliable government is not enough. You are here to ensure that our bureaucracy is free of corruption and other illegal activities. Your primary goal is, therefore, to help me in realizing our goal of eliminating the ill that have weakened the people to act and to complain what’s going on.”
Present during the oath taking were Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, Sen. Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go, and other officials. PND