President Rodrigo Duterte gestures as he poses for a group photo with Senator Christopher “Bong” Go, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, Congressman Alan Peter Cayetano, and newly-installed House Speaker Lord Allan Velasco following the meeting held at the Malacañang Golf (Malago), Malacañang Park, Manila on Oct. 13, 2020. SIMEON CELI/ PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

Newly installed House Speaker Lord Allan Velasco and his ousted predecessor Taguig City Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano agreed to “work together” for the timely passage of the 2021 national budget in a meeting with President Rodrigo Duterte, Malacañang said.

The meeting took place at Malacañang Golf Club Tuesday afternoon.

“In the course of the meeting, the two representatives agreed to work together as one majority in order to ensure the timely passage of the 2021 budget and other priority legislation of the Duterte administration,” Palace spokesman Harry Roque said in a statement.

The meeting, according to Sen. Christopher “Bong” Go, was like a parental intervention.

“All is well. Parang tatay si Tatay Digong (Duterte) kinausap mga anak niya. Pinagpayuhan na magkaisa. One majority and pass the budget on time para sa sambayanang Pilipino,” Go said in a message to reporters.

The same 186 lawmakers who elected Velasco in a session outside Batasang Pambansa on Monday voted to officially install Velasco as speaker on Tuesday. Cayetano announced his “irrevocable resignation” shortly after.

Addressing the plenary for the first time as speaker, Velasco said he and Cayetano have already made amends. He also floated the possibility of appointing Cayetano as deputy speaker.

“Gusto natin na magkaroon na tayo ng iisang Kongreso. Itigil na natin ang alitan. Ipakita na natin sa taumbayan na sa gitna ng pandemya ang ating pagsasama-sama, pagtutulungan,” Velasco said in his speech on Tuesday.

He also urged House lawmakers to be “good examples” to the public.

“Let us show our countrymen that loyalty and fidelity to the promises we make are not mere conveniences for us. Let us be good examples of palabra de honor and demonstrate that our word is our bond,” he said.

Congressional deliberations on the proposed P4.5-trillion national budget for 2021 resumed on Tuesday. John Ezekiel J. Hirro