MARINDUQUE Rep. Lord Allan Velasco and his camp defied President Rodrigo Roa Duterte by continuing to play politics and seat Velasco as Speaker.
After the President spoke about the national budget and advised against the use of his name in politicking, Velasco and his allies pressed on with their agenda and attacks against Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano.
Laid bare was Velasco’s plan to set aside the passage of the 2021 national budget which was Malacanang’s purpose for calling the special session and instead focus on politicking and aim to wrest the House leadership this week.
In an online press conference yesterday Deputy Speaker LRay Villafuerte revealed two text messages from Velasco allies Congresswoman Kristine Singson-Meehan and Congressman Mikee Romero indicating the continued politicking and concentration of their camp on a change of leadership in the Chamber at 10 this morning.
In a text message sent to members of the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC), Singson-Meehan said that the agenda of their meeting this Monday is the “HOR Plenary” and “Leadership Change.”
According to a text message supposedly from Rep. Mikee Romero, he said the Duterte family is united in their belief that the gentleman’s agreement should be followed and that Mayor Sara supports Velasco.
“The circulation of this sort of text message goes against the wish of the President that Congress unite for the swift passage of the 2021 budget,” reminded Rep. Elpidio Barzaga.
Velasco first used the name of President Duterte when he circulated in the media the words “It’s your time to shine under the term sharing.” Velasco’s camp also claimed that Deputy Speaker Paolo Duterte supports him for the speakership notwithstanding the fact that Rep. Duterte said he is neutral in a statement released to the media.
Meanwhile congressmen belonging to the majority and from different parties agreed to give priority to the approval of the 2021 budget.
Deputy Speaker LRay Villafuerte, Anakalusugan Partylist Rep. Mike Defensor, Deputy Speaker Butch Pichay, Rep. Edgar Erice and Minority Leader Benny Abante called on congressmen to unite in holding the special session called by the President from October 13-16.
“Whoever makes trouble in the special session will defy the President. They will have to answer to the people for derailing the passage of the budget,” said Villafuerte.
For his part Deputy Speaker Pichay said the President clearly said, prioritize the approval of the budget and don’t turn the congressmen’s focus towards the change in leadership.