President Rodrigo Duterte will not intervene in the internal affairs of the House of Representatives, Malacañang said on Thursday, amid a claim that there is supposed ouster plot against House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said Duterte would only make a move, in the event that House lawmakers ask him to “intercede in their behalf.”
“Again, the President does not interfere. Paulit-ulit na nating sinasabi iyan (We’re repeatedly saying that). That’s the internal affair of the Congress. Hindi siya makikialam diyan (He will not interfere), unless you ask him to settle whatever rift they have if there is any,” he told Palace reporters.
Panelo’s statement came after Cayetano claimed earlier Thursday that he received “verified” information that Marinduque Rep. Lord Alan Velasco is hatching a plot to unseat him as House Speaker.
Cayetano’s allegation came, despite the term-sharing deal between him and Velasco that Duterte had brokered on July 22, 2019.
Velasco, in a separate interview earlier Thursday, denied that he was behind the supposed ouster plot against Cayetano.
Panelo said Cayetano’s claim could be just a “perception” of the House leader.
He added that it appears that Cayetano is challenging congressmen who are opposed to his “style of leadership.”
“Ang tingin ko kay (What I think about) Congressman Cayetano, he was more challenging members of the Congress. If they’re not satisfied with me, eh ‘di gawin niyo ang gusto niyo (then do what you want). Parang ganoon ang dating sa akin nu’ng statement niya (That’s how I interpret his statement),” Panelo said.
Panelo, however, believed that members of the House of Representatives are “satisfied” with Cayetano’s work performance.
Duterte would just let House lawmakers address the supposed move to remove Cayetano from office, he said.
“Walang advice ang Pangulo. Kung ano ang pinagkasunduan nila, eh ‘di sila ang dapat mag-resolve noon (There is no advice from the President. They should resolve it on their own),” Panelo said.
There has been an existing term-sharing agreement between Cayetano and Velasco.
Under the term sharing deal, Cayetano would serve as House Speaker until October 2020 while Velasco would take over and serve until the 18th Congress ends in 2022. (PNA)