Cayetano says term-sharing deal with Velasco stands, but Duterte has last say

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 16) — Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano assured Wednesday that the term-sharing deal with Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Jay Velasco on the leadership of the House of Representatives still stands, despite the push from some members for him to stay in his post until 2022.

However, Cayetano said the last word on any change in the House leadership would come from President Rodrigo Duterte, who brokered the term-sharing deal to prevent the pro-administration coalition in the House from splintering.

“I promised the President I’ll do a good job, and then a month, two months before ‘yung middle or pinagusapan, I’ll go to him for instructions. So kung ano ang instructions ng Pangulo, ‘yun ang masusunod,” Cayetano told reporters.

[Translation: I promised the President I’ll do a good job, and then a month, two months before the middle or before the end date of the deal, I’ll go to him for instructions. Whatever the President instructs, that is what would be followed.]

Under the agreement, Cayetano would be Speaker until October next year, with Velasco taking over for the remainder of the 18th Congress.

A leader of the National Unity Party and the party-list coalition — two large blocs in the House — said there might be no need to replace Cayetano if he sustains his good performance.

Cayetano dismissed talk about a succession plan for the speakership, saying there is still a lot of work to be done in the House.

CNN Philippines Correspondent Xianne Arcangel contributed to this report.