Cayetano denies posturing for 2022 polls, extended speakership amid SEA Games flubs

enablePagination: false
maxItemsPerPage: 10
totalITemsFound:
maxPaginationLinks: 10
maxPossiblePages:
startIndex:
endIndex:

FILE PHOTO. Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee (PHISGOC) Chairman and House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano shrugged off speculations that he is vying for the 2022 polls following consecutive glitches in the 2019 SEA Games.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 28) – Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee (PHISGOC) Chairman and House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano shrugged off speculations that he is vying for higher office in the 2022 polls following consecutive glitches in the sports event.

In a chance interview with reporters, Cayetano said that he does not want to speculate anymore whether someone is using the issue to threaten the speakership or his possible bid in the national polls, as he will not be vying for a high post in the first place.

“The problems we’ve faced now are dalawa lang: fake news and logistical projects...so what’s the issue? Napaka-aga ng 2022, hindi naman ako tatakbo,” he told the media on the sidelines of an event in San Juan City Thursday.

He said critics mistake hitting him and the SEA Games "with politics and what hurts the country."

“I don’t wanna speculate anymore, ‘yung pwede namag maging Speaker, pwede naman maging Speaker. Hindi naman ako magkakapit-tuko sa position na ‘to,” he added.

[Translation: those who want to be the Speaker can be the Speaker. I am not clinging to my position.]

READ: Cayetano denies ‘irregularities,’ to order COA to audit SEA Games funds

Cayetano added that those who may still be vying for the Speakership do not need to hold a coup d’etat to boot him out.

“They don’t need to have a coup d’etat, they can come to me and say na ‘sir, mas gusto namin si Martin Romualdez.’ Eh kasundo ko naman si Martin Romualdez. Sabihin ko Martin, take over. After 15 months, sabihin naman ni [Allan] Velasco na he will take over, eh di take over,” he said.

[Translation: They don’t need to have a coup d’etat, they can come to me and say, ‘sir, we want Martin Romualdez better.’ But I’m friends with Martin Romualdez. I can just tell him to take over. After 15 months, once Velasco says that he will take over, then take over.]

Cayetano was referring to the term sharing deal previously brokered by President Rodrigo Duterte between him and Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco -- a “15-21” formula, where he would sit for the first 15 months, and the latter will take over for the next 21 months.

READ: Duterte endorses Cayetano, Velasco as House Speaker in term-sharing deal

Martin Romualdez of Leyte 1st District was initially included in the roster of Speaker-hopefuls before he was appointed Majority Leader.

Lawmakers of the 18th Congress, however, have been lauding Cayetano for garnering a 64 percent approval rating and a 62 percent trust rating in the third quarter poll of the year, alongside the swift passage of the P4.1-trillion budget for 2020 and other priority bills on his first four months in office.

Cayetano himself reminded Velasco that he is still honoring their term-sharing agreement despite previously stating that he is open to serve a full term as the leader of the lower chamber.

Meanwhile, Cayetano had a a very brief response to Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio's cryptic Instagram post that was addressed to lawmakers amid the SEA Games snafus: “I don’t have an Instagram.”

The mayor’s online remark on November 24 read: “’I told you so’ is a sure-fire way to kick-start an argument. In the same way, ‘you do not listen’ will ignite a conversation into a heated one. May I just say to everyone in Congress, ‘I told you but you did not listen so there you go.’”

Duterte-Carpio, together with Davao City 1st District Rep. Paolo Duterte, had previously formed the “Duterte Coalition” to challenge Cayetano’s speakership bid but the latter managed to secure his victory.