BREAK: Cayetano resigns as Velasco’s speakership election ratified

By: Neil Arwin Mercado - Inquirer.net | October 13,2020 - 12:55 PM

MANILA, Philippines — Outgoing House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano announced Tuesday, October 13, 2020, his resignation from his post, ironically while Marinduque Representative Lord Allan Velasco’s speakership election was being ratified in the plenary.

In a Facebook live video, Cayetano announced his “irrevocable resignation” amid his speakership battle with Velasco.

Read: BREAK: Making it official, House ratifies Velasco’s election as Speaker

“We’re okay, we will continue to help but right now, verbally, I am tendering my irrevocable resignation as the Speaker of the House of the Republic of the Philippines,” Cayetano said.

However, Cayetano appealed to his colleagues to conduct the elections at 3 p.m. or the scheduled resumption of session for the budget deliberations.

“At 3 o’clock, elect your new Speaker and pass the budget… You can elect at 3 o’clock. Walang maneuvers, walang political tactics na mangyayari diyan [No maneuvers, no political tactics that will happen there],” Cayetano said.

Cayetano also apologized to President Rodrigo Duterte for “misunderstanding” that the latter wanted him to finish the budget deliberations before relinquishing his post.

“Ang pagkakaalam ko talaga, I was to handle the budget and I was told until matapos ‘yung budget para walang disruption and I invited Congressman Velasco to join me,” Cayetano said.

(Based on my understanding, I was to handle the budget and I was told until budget deliberations are finished so that there would be no disruption and I invited Congressman Velasco to join me.)

“Mr. President, if I made a mistake, mali ang reading ko, misunderstood ko na gusto mong ituloy at tapusin ko ang budget, ako’y humihingi ng paumanhin. Hindi ko intention—never—na hindi ka sundin,” he added.

(Mr. President, if I made a mistake, my reading was wrong, I misunderstood that you want to continue and finish the budget, I apologize. It was not my intention–never–not to follow you.)

Cayetano lamented the recent divide among President Rodrigo Duterte’s allies in the House due to the speakership row, saying that only those in the opposition are benefitting from it.

The outgoing House Speaker also thanked his “remaining friends” in various political parties and party-lists.

Nonetheless, Cayetano continued to slam the proceedings that happened at the Celebrity Sports Complex in Quezon City where Velasco was elected as the new House Speaker.

“Dadalawa lang ang House ng Kongreso—Senado at Kongreso. Walang third house na tinatawag pong Celebrity Sports Club. Ang members noon ay members ng Sports Club, hindi members ng Kongreso,” Cayetano said.

(There are only two houses of Congress–Senate and Congress. There is no third house that is called Celebrity Sports Club. Members of that club are members of the Sports Club, not members of Congress.)

He also alleged that there were already “acts of violence” when Velasco’s camp pushed to open the plenary session earlier than expected.

This is a developing story.

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