‘Honor 15-21 agree­ment’

DUTERTE TELLS CAYETANO, VE­LASCO

Daily Tribune (Philippines) - - FRONT PAGE - BY ALDRIN CAR­DONA, MJ BLANCAFLOR, ELMER N. MANUEL AND MICHELLE GUILLANG @tri­bunephl_­drin @tri­bunephl_lmer

Your al­lo­cated LGSF for 2020 which were miss­ing are back. We re­in­stated them as per in­struc­tion of the Speaker in Bayani­han 2

The “coup” at the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives was a dud with the al­lies of Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano mak­ing the loud­est noise charg­ing Marinduque Rep. Lord Al­lan Ve­lasco of or­ches­trat­ing an at­tempt at forg­ing a lead­er­ship change at the Batasang Pam­bansa.

Their state­ments al­most ef­fec­tively hazed the ques­tions ear­lier raised by sev­eral mem­bers of the House about Cayetano’s large chunk of bud­get from

the Depart­ment of Pub­lic Works and High­ways (DPWH) for 2021.

It was ear­lier re­ported that a coup de

etat was to tran­spire at the House fol­low­ing frus­tra­tions by many House mem­bers over the bud­get in­equity un­der Cayetano’s lead­er­ship.

Cayetano is sup­posed to hand over the House speak­er­ship to Ve­lasco at end of Oc­to­ber fol­low­ing their “gen­tle­men’s agree­ment” that was bro­kered by Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte him­self last year.

The Chief Ex­ec­u­tive is hop­ing that the two House lead­ers will honor their agree­ment.

Cayetano, him­self, is the act­ing rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the first district that was left va­cant by Marissa Lour­des An­daya who died of can­cer early this year. He is get­ting P288,244,000 for three projects in the district.

Dur­ing a brief­ing, pres­i­den­tial spokesper­son Harry Roque quoted the Pres­i­dent as say­ing that he “is hop­ing both par­ties will honor their words and abide by their agree­ment.”

“I asked him last night (Mon­day) and that was his an­swer,” Roque said.

That deal was dubbed as the “15-21 agree­ment” which should have Cayetano serv­ing the first 15 months of their three-year term and Ve­lasco tak­ing his turn for 21 months un­til the elec­tions next year.

It was Cayetano, how­ever, who tried to stage a “self-coup” last year sup­pos­edly on the re­quest of his peers to serve as speaker for the who three years. Cayetano’s camp says the Speaker has moist eyes on the pres­i­dency.

He is now reneg­ing on that deal, though, with Ve­lasco’s al­lies claim they will not al­low.

Ve­lasco was not part of the group that ques­tioned Cayetano’s lion’s share from the DPWH bud­get. He stayed quiet on Tues­day de­spite the Cayetano camp’s taunts.

“He’s a gen­tle­man who fol­lows agree­ments,” one of his al­lies said. “He be­lieves that one who backs down on vows to his peers could not be truth­ful to his vows to serve his coun­try and peo­ple.”

Ve­lasco is­sued a state­ment Tues­day night, say­ing “be­ing a party to the term-shar­ing agree­ment, one does not and should not seek to com­pete with the cur­rent Speaker as a gen­tle­man’s agree­ment is in force. We will have our turn at the right time.”

“When both par­ties fi­nally honor the agree­ment, I will show my col­leagues the kind of lead­er­ship I es­pouse. There­after, at the end of my term, my peers can then be the judge of my loyal ser­vice to God, to the Pres­i­dent, and ul­ti­mately to the Filipino peo­ple,” Ve­lasco added.

This was af­ter law­mak­ers com­plained against Cayetano’s sup­posed fa­vor of his clos­est al­lies whom ear­lier re­ports said par­took of about P20 bil­lion-worth of DPWH projects.

The other mem­bers of the House re­ceive just P2 bil­lion in projects, some of them even less.

Cayetano will re­ceive P9,762,773,000 for 121 projects rang­ing from re­pairs, widen­ings and ex­pan­sion of roads, con­struc­tion of build­ings and re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion of old struc­tures.

He will be shar­ing the amount with his wife Lani, who rep­re­sents the other half of Taguig City. They are the only hus­band and wife liv­ing to­gether who rep­re­sent sep­a­rate dis­tricts of a city.

Cayetano’s bud­get was de­fended by Eric Yap, the ACT-CIS Partylist Rep­re­sen­ta­tive.

“I saw the NEP (na­tional ex­pen­di­ture pro­gram) for 2021. (His bud­get) is P8 bil­lion. But P6 bil­lion of that is for 2020,” Yap said dur­ing an ex­clu­sive Daily Tri­bune “Straight Talk” on­line pro­gram.

“But that bud­get was sur­ren­dered to be­come part of the COVID-19 fight. That’s why we re­in­stated the amount for 2021. So, it now turns out that only P2 bil­lion is given to Speaker Cayetano,” he added.

For Ca­marines Sur, some are say­ing the prov­ince is re­ceiv­ing P11 bil­lion. CamSur has five dis­tricts with five con­gress­men. So that’s P2.2 bil­lion each,” Yap con­tin­ued.

“It’s the same amount that Cong. Ar­nulfo Teves (Ne­gros Ori­en­tal) is go­ing to re­ceive.”

Doc­u­ments ob­tained by Daily Tri­bune, how­ever, showed shares di­vided among five Ca­marines Sur rep­re­sen­ta­tives are not equal.

He’s a gen­tle­man who fol­lows agree­ments. He be­lieves that one who backs down on vows to his peers could not be truth­ful to his vows to serve his coun­try and peo­ple.

Cayetano, him­self, is the act­ing rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the first district that was left va­cant by Marissa Lour­des An­daya who died of can­cer early this year. He is get­ting P288,244,000 for three projects in the district.

District 2 will be re­ceiv­ing the most with P3,304,781,000 for 33 projects. It is rep­re­sented by LRay Vil­la­fuerte, a known Cayetano ally who spoke yes­ter­day to claim that a “su­per­ma­jor­ity of the House” con­tinue to sup­port Cayetano.

District 3 Rep. Gabriel Bor­dado Jr. was to re­ceive P1,127,591,000 for five projects but he re­port­edly re­turned it.

District 4 Rep. Ar­nulf Fuente­bella has 12 projects worth only 817,960,000; while District 5 Rep. Jo­ce­lyn For­tuno has 21 projects but these were pegged only at a measly P595, 605,000.

Vil­la­fuerte, him­self, sent mes­sages to the other con­gress­men and promised them bud­get for their soft projects that in­clude schol­ar­ships, med­i­cal as­sis­tance, liveli­hood train­ing and sim­i­lar light pro­grams.

The dis­tri­bu­tion of these funds was in­structed by Cayetano on Satur­day while calls for his re­moval as House Speaker was sim­mer­ing over the week­end.

“Your al­lo­cated LGSF (Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Sub­sidy Fund) for 2020 which were miss­ing are back,” a mes­sage at­trib­uted to Vil­la­fuerte stated. “We re­in­stated them as per in­struc­tion of the Speaker in Bayani­han 2.”

Bayani­han 2 funds are in­tended for the coun­try’s fight against the COVID-19 pan­demic.

“Here with guide­lines please. Fa­vor, kindly as you LGU (lo­cal gov­ern­ment units) ben­e­fi­cia­ries (through) Katy to com­ply ASAP be­cause dead­line is end of Oc­to­ber,” Vil­la­fuerte’s mes­sage con­tin­ued.

Cayetano came un­der at­tack over this in­equity, lead­ing to Davao City Rep. Paolo Duterte to ex­press his frus­tra­tion and the Min­danao bloc threat­en­ing to de­clare all House lead­er­ship seats va­cant last Mon­day.

It did not hap­pen af­ter Cayetano’s al­lies sus­pended Mon­day’s ses­sion.

The House went about its usual sched­ules on Tues­day de­spite Cayetano’s ac­cu­sa­tion that Ve­lasco had tried to stage a “coup” four times in the past.

Ve­lasco’s al­lies branded Cayetano’s state­ment as a lie.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Philippines

© PressReader. All rights reserved.