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Castro, Velasco clash

Michelle R. Guillang



Capiz Rep. Castro (left) and Marinduque Rep. Velasco.

Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco on Tuesday defended himself against Capiz Rep. Fredenil Castro who expressed doubts on his ability to lead the House of Representatives under a term-sharing deal with Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano.

“The agreement between the Speaker and Congressman Velasco is between them. How can we trust Congressman Velasco to hold up his end of the deal, not just be the new Speaker but to actually act like one? And that is the more important question,” said Castro in a privilege speech during the plenary session Tuesday.

“Instead of being the leader he said he was, Congressman Velasco showed his true self. He did not work, he did not contribute, he did not defend this House. He did not lead, so why would he expect us to follow him?” Castro charged.

Later in his Facebook post, Velasco said, “I have been silent during the duration of the Gentleman’s agreement in deference and respect to the sitting Speaker. My silence does not mean I am disinterested nor I have turned my back on the covenant.”

“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,” read Velasco’s post.

“When both parties finally honor the agreement, I will show my colleagues the kind of leadership I espouse. Thereafter, at the end of my term, my peers can then be the judge of my loyal service to God, to the President, and ultimately, to the Filipino people,” added Velasco.

In his speech, Castro lambasted Velasco and his management team which the latter revealed will oversee the takeover of the positions at the House such as the Speaker and Deputy Speakers.

“You cannot blame me for being affected when I learned about the insults [directed at Cayetano] by some of us here in the lower chamber who are lost for the sake of their personal ambition or interests,” he said.

“How can they say they are already prepared for the transition when they never coordinated with the current leadership? How do we have a smooth leadership transition when their plan is to disorganize the good running of the lower chamber?” said Castro.

Castro credited the Congress’ accomplishments and its high approval ratings to Cayetano.

p: wjg