Courtesy: news.abs-cbn.com

With a big number of lawmakers rejecting the resignation of Taguig-Pateros Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano as House Speaker, it looks like Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco will likely have no hope to lead the House of Representatives.

The House of Representatives on Wednesday formally rejected Cayetano’s offer to resign as House Speaker.

But Cayetano challenged Velasco on how many votes he can get to be officially declared the next leader of the House.

“Under the Constitution, you need the majority of all members to be elected speaker. So I can step aside. But I cannot guarantee he will be elected,” Cayetano said of Velasco’s chances to get elected as House Speaker.

“In fact, I will make a fearless forecast: Hindi siya mananalo (He will not win). Or if I step aside, mananalo siya after one week makukudeta siya. Bakit? Maraming popular sa Kongreso (he will win and after one win, he will lose to a House coup. Why? There are other popular people in Congress),” he said, however, without giving any names.

A total of 184 lawmakers voted to officially reject Cayetano’s resignation and only one accepted. Nine abstained from the voting.

It can be recalled that Velasco and Cayetano, with their respective supporters, met with President Rodrigo Duterte in Malacanang on Tuesday night to settle the row of the House leadership.

Velasco was supposed to take over the speakership post starting October 14 based on the original term-sharing agreement that was brokered by Duterte hilmself at the start of the 18th Congress in July last year.

Under the term-sharing deal, Cayetano would serve as House speaker for the first 15 months, or until October 2020, while Velasco would take over and assume the position for the remaining 21 months or until the 18th Congress ends in 2022. 

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