Manila Bulletin

Cayetano House allies told to quit


Former speaker and Taguig-Pateros Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano’s allies were asked on Wednesday to step down from their committee chairmansh­ip and other posts and give Speaker Lord Allan Velasco the chance to form the leadership team he fully trusts.

Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman dared Cayetano’s supporters who strongly opposed a Velasco speakershi­p to resign and allow Velasco to implement a revamp of the chamber’s leadership.

Cayetano, however, slammed the suggestion, saying that Velasco should honor his commitment not to touch the committees, although the former speaker himself had reneged on his promise to give up the speakershi­p post in obser

vance of the 15-21 term sharing agreement he and Velasco forged last year.

Days before being ousted as House leader, Cayetano stripped Velasco’s allies of their respective posts mainly due to their support for the Marinduque lawmaker.

1Pacman Party-list Rep. Mikee Romero was first to be sacked by the then Cayetanole­d majority. Romero was relieved as deputy speaker, one day after he accompanie­d Velasco to a meeting with President Duterte.

Also ousted were Reps. Helen Tan (NPC, Quezon); Sharon Garin (AAMBIS OWA), and Eric Martinez (PDPLaban, Valenzuela City) as chairmen of the House Committees on Health, Economic Affairs, and Sports and Youth, respective­ly.

Romero and Tan were able to recover their respective seats on the first two days that Velasco came into power.

Oriental Mindoro Rep. Doy Leachon, who was removed early this year as head of the House contingent to the House of Representa­tives Electoral Tribunal was also promoted by Velasco. Leachon replaced top Cayetano lieutenant, Camarines Sur Rep. LRay Villafuert­e as deputy speaker.

Expected to be reinstalle­d after being sacked by Cayetano are Reps. Isidro Ungab (PDP-Laban, Davao City), Martinez, and Garin.

A source from the Velasco camp said the speaker is left with no choice but to replace Cayetano loyalists who backed the former speaker’s bid to stay in power.

He disclosed that among those who may be unseated are Deputy Speakers Prospero Pichay (Lakas-CMD, Surigao del Sur), Neptali Gonzales II (NP, Mandaluyon­g City), and Dan Fernandez (NUP, Laguna).

Reps. Jonathan Sy-Alvarado (NUP, Bulacan) and Mike Defensor (Anakalusug­an Party-list) may also be asked to resign as chairmen of the House Committee on Good Government and of Public Accounts, respective­ly.

Aklan Rep. Teodorico Haresco will also have to step down in favor of Garin should the latter accept her old post.

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