Amid the lingering issue involving the House speakership, Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano and Marinduque Representative Lord Allan Velasco are set to meet with President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday.
Two sources from the House of Representatives confirmed the development to GMA News Online.
The said meeting is set to take place at 6 p.m., according to one source.
PDP-Laban Executive Director Ron Munsayac also confirmed the meeting, saying that Velasco will be accompanied by leaders of the party and their coalition allies from the House of Representatives.
Duterte’s spokesperson Harry Roque said the President indicated in a recent meeting with Cabinet officials in Davao City that he might talk to Cayetano and Velasco.
“In my schedule that I have, nakasulat lang po mga private meetings. Pero I intended to call the appointments office,” Roque said in a televised briefing on Monday.
“Usually po kasi I’m not allowed to divulge the schedule ahead of time pero I think by way of compromise naman on the same day before the meeting or right after baka payagan naman po ako. I will see po kung papayagan tayo,” he added.
The meeting will take place after a manifesto in support of Cayetano amid the speakership issue, and signed by leaders and representatives of various blocs and political parties at the chamber, surfaced.
In the said manifesto, the lawmakers declared their commitment to continue the deliberations on the 2021 national budget in a transparent manner and for the interest of the Filipino people, despite the "threat" to derail its smooth and immediate passage.
"In these trying times, as the nation is being wracked by an unprecedented public health and economic crisis brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, we reiterate our continued full and unequivocal support for Speaker Cayetano and the entire leadership of the House, and join the President in his desire to allow the membership to chart its own course in choosing those who would lead this chamber," they added.
Velasco, however, said the term-sharing agreement should be upheld, saying the deal was made "for God and our country."
"The covenant was crystal clear: a 15-21 term-sharing agreement. The first term expires on Sept 30, after which the second term immediately begins. That was the pledge made before the President," Velasco said.
"As true leaders and as examples for our people, both sides are obligated to avoid situations or statements that would subvert the agreement and betray the trust of our people who’ve stood witness to the covenant," he added.
The President brokered the term-sharing agreement with Cayetano and Velasco at the beginning of the 18th Congress in July last year.
Cayetano, however, accused Velasco and his camp of being behind the most recent supposed coup attempt against him.
"From their side, gusto nila, gentleman’s agreement daw, sumunod ako. Pero I think, pangatlo, pang-apat na coup attempt na nila ‘to e. Tingin ata nila na padamihan ng attempt at, finally, kapag maraming attempt, makukuha nila," Cayetano said.
Velasco earlier said that although he had not been making comments on the issue of the speakership, it did not mean that he was disinterested or turned his back on the deal.
"'Mum on issues' means I just don’t want to call attention to myself. Being 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," he added. — with Virgil Lopez/DVM/BM, GMA News
This article Cayetano, Velasco to meet with Duterte amid speakership issue was originally published in GMA News Online.