Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco on Monday called on his House of Representatives colleagues to “uphold” the term-sharing deal for speakership between him and Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano.

In a Facebook post, Velasco asserted that the deal was “crystal clear”: Cayetano’s term would last 15 months and end on Sept. 30 and he would supposedly take over the speakership until June 2022. 

He said the deal was brokered by no other than President Rodrigo Duterte.

“When the House Speakership term-sharing agreement was entered into, it was based on mutual trust and confidence. After all, it was an agreement brokered by and forged in the presence of no less than President Rodrigo Duterte,” Velasco wrote.

“The covenant was crystal clear: a 15-21 term-sharing agreement. The first term expires on Sept 30, after which the second term immediately begins. That was the pledge made before the president,” he added.

Velasco called on Cayetano to acknowledge the agreement and not subvert it nor “betray the trust of our people who’ve stood witness to the covenant.”

“Let us uphold the agreement as this was made ‘FOR GOD AND OUR COUNTRY 1521.’  I have always intended to honor the agreement. We all should. Our people deserve nothing less,” he said.

Cayetano earlier accused Velasco of being behind a coup plot that had repeatedly attempted to remove him from his post.

The House speakership issue resurfaced after Velasco’s PDP-Laban ally, Negros Oriental Rep. Arnolfo Teves Jr., questioned the “disparity” in the distribution of infrastructure funds during a budget hearing for the Department of Public Works and Highways.

He claimed the distribution favored Cayetano’s district in Taguig City and Deputy Speaker Luis Villafuerte’s Camarines Sur bailiwick.

Deputy Speaker Dan Fernandez claimed that Velasco and his allies were attempting to stain Cayetano’s name.

Deputy Speaker Paolo Duterte, the president’s son, earlier urged the Mindanao Bloc to declare the speaker and deputy speaker positions vacant.

In an earlier Facebook post, Velasco explained that he had remained “mum on issues” in respect to the deal between him and Cayetano.

“Being party to the term-sharing agreement,  one does not and should not seek to compete with the current speaker as a gentleman’s agreement is in force.  We will have our turn at the right time,” he said.

Duterte to meet with Velasco, Cayetano

In Monday’s Malacañang briefing, Palace spokesman Harry Roque said the president would soon meet with Velasco and Cayetano to talk about the speakership agreement.

Roque said President Duterte wished the two would “honor their words” but Velasco had to collect “numbers” or votes from the House of Representatives first.

“Ultimately, he leaves it with the members of the House of Representatives to choose their leader,” he said. John Ezekiel J. Hirro