Anakalusugan Partylist Rep. Mike Defensor has advised his colleagues in the House of Representatives to declare the position of Speaker vacant and put to a vote who will be the next leader of the chamber.
Still incumbent House Speaker and Taguig-Pateros Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano offered to resign last Wednesday but 184 members of the chamber voted to rejct it.
Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco is supposed to take over the House leadership on October 14, 2020 based on a term-sharing agreement.
“First of all, I will not advise Speaker Alan to resign because we have already voted then we vote again. I would advise those who want a change of leadership to declare the seat vacant,” Defensor said in an interview with ABS-CBN News Channel on Thursday.
“I don’t think there will be a fight among us, it will be a question of vote. And if in the end, they do not get the numbers then I think we should just continue our work and respect each other,” he added.
Defensor even said that the position of House Speaker is not entitled to anyone who wants it, alluding to Velasco’s insistence the he be the next leader of the chamber.
“Unang-una, ‘yung speakership, hindi naman ito entitlement eh. Hindi ito hari at may prinsipe at after bumaba ang hari, ‘yung prinsipe na ang uupo (In the first place, the position of House Speaker is not entitled to anyone. This is not a case of a prince taking over the throne after a king steps down), he added.
Cayetano and Velasco, and their supporters met on Wednesday with President Rodrigo Duterte to resolve the impasses on the House Speakership issue. Sources said Duterte asked Velasco to allow Cayetano to stay as House leader until December this year as Congress finalizes the proposed P4.56-trillion budget for 2021.