President Rodrigo Duterte will no longer interfere on the issue on who will be the next House Speaker and is more interested in getting the proposed P4.56-trillion 2021 budget passed before the end of the year.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque on Thursday said Duterte now views the issue on who will be the next House Speaker as an “internal matter” that could be settle by members of the chamber, adding the president respects the House of Representatives’ voting to reject the resignation of Taguig-Pateros Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano as its leader.
“Well, uulitin ko po ang paninindigan ng ating Presidente, iyong pagpili po ng liderato ng Kamara ay isang internal matter para sa Kamara de Representante at nirirespeto naman po ng Presidente ang naging desisyon ng Kamara na ibinasura po iyong pagri-resign ni Speaker Alan Cayetano (I will just repeat the stand of the President, selecting a leader in Congress is an internal matter of the House of Representatives and he respects the decision of the House to reject the resignation of Speaker Alan Cayetano),” he said.
Roque added that the primary concern of Duterte now is the passage by the House of the proposed P4.56-trillion national budget for 2021, which was crafted to help the country to recover from the social and economic effects of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
“Tingin ko tapos na naman po iyong controversy ‘no at ang talagang paulit-ulit na pakiusap ni Presidente, kinakailangan mapasa ang ating Covid-19 budget on time (I think the controversy is over and the President has been repeatedly reminding them that they need to pass the Covid-19 budget on time),” Roque added.
Cayetano and his family met with Duterte on Wednesday night. On Tuesday night, Cayetano and Marinduque Rep. Lord Alan Velasco and their supporters met also with the president to settle the impasse over the House leadership.
It was reported that Duterte asked Velasco to let Cayetano stay as House Speaker until December to speed up the passing of the proposed 2021 budget.
Based on term-sharing agreement, Cayetano would give up the House leadership in favor of Velasco on October 14, 2020. However, 184 members of the House voted to reject the resignation of Cayetano as House Speaker on Wednesday.