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APC suffers another blow



Taguig Representative Alan Peter Cayetano continued to lose his political luster after losing the Speakership as he was also removed on Friday morning as legislative caretaker of the 1st District of Camarines Sur.

Less than two minutes before the House suspended the third day of its special sessions, Rizal Rep. Michael John Duavit was elected to replace Cayetano for the post.

It was on 2 September when Cayetano was named the legislative caretaker of the district following the passing of late Rep. Marissa Andaya on 5 July. She succumbed to cancer.

Andaya was the wife of former Camarines Sur (1st District) Rep. Rolando Andaya Jr., who was the former majority leader under then-House Speaker Gloria Mcapagal Arroyo.

Cayetano was ousted from the chamber’s top post after 186 lawmakers moved to declare the Speakership seat vacant and voted for Velasco in a session held outside the Batasang Pambansa last 12 October.

Cayetano and Velasco became rivals in the position back in 2019 when they, along with now House Majority Leader Martin Romualdez, were touted as rivals for the House Speakership.

President Rodrigo Duterte persuaded Romualdez to make way for the two who will share the three-year term under an agreement where Cayetano would serve the first 15 months of the Speaker’s term while Velasco would take the remaining 21 months while Romualdez holds his post until the end of 18th Congress.

It was agreed that Velasco would take over from Cayetano on 14 October.

Cayetano, however, expressed defiance of the deal that led to the majority to install Velasco in an unprecedented House session.

Deck crumbles
It was only when Congress ratified Velasco’s election on 13 October that Cayetano in a Facebook live video tendered his irrevocable resignation.

The 44-strong bloc of Nacionalista Party (NP), a party in which Cayetano belongs earlier pledged to work closely with Velasco in pursuing the legislative priorities of President Rodrigo Duterte.

Las Piñas Rep. Camille Villar said the NP “extends its collaborative hand” to Velasco to ensure the success of the President’s legislative and economic agenda.

“Amid the recent development in the House of Representatives, the Nacionalista Party remains steadfast in supporting the legislative agenda of the President as his government endeavors to bring solution to the problems of the country, especially now that we are in the middle of the pandemic,” Villar said.

Villar said the party likewise commits to pass the proposed 2021 national budget “that would be truly reflective of the needs of the people and not merely based on the requirements of the districts.”