LOOK: Lord Allan Velasco meets with Sara Duterte amid House tussle

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 11) — Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco has met with his close friend Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte days before the expected speakership turnover at the House of Representatives.

A photo sourced by the CNN Philippines on Sunday showed Velasco and Duterte happily posing for a selfie over what seemed like a dinner meeting between the two. No other details were provided about the meeting that occurred last Friday, October 9.

It can be remembered that the Davao mayor had a significant role behind the controversial ouster of former House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez during the 17th Congress following a rift between the two. Then Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo took over the post, just hours before President Rodrigo Duterte held his third State of the Nation Address.

Last year, President Duterte forged a term-sharing deal between Cayetano and Velasco to settle the Speakership dispute between his two allies. But the rivals spent the past weeks meeting with the President over their so-called "gentlemen's agreement," even going as far as to argue about marking their 2020 birthdays as Speaker.

'Sara endorses Velasco,' says ally

Oriental Mindoro Rep. Doy Leachon, an ally of Velasco, said Sunday that the photo "says it all," citing the strong ties between Mayor Duterte and Velasco.

"She's doing it as a friend of Cong. Velasco. Besides, she believes that parties to the term-sharing agreement must be gentleman enough to comply," said Leachon.

Cayetano declared the session break ahead of the Oct. 17 schedule after approving the 2021 budget on second reading, a move seen to thwart plenary voting to elect Velasco on the 14th.

President Duterte then called for a special session from October 13 to 16 to resume plenary deliberations for the budget of the remaining government agencies.

Meanwhile, Senator Franklin Drilon is pushing for a separate special session from November 9 to 13 to allow the upper chamber to fast-track its own deliberations on the floor.

CNN Philippines' Xianne Arcangel and Glee Jalea contributed to this report.