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Velasco “ostracized” during Cayetano’s reign

Michelle R. Guillang

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Aside from the discreditation and accusations of coup plots, new House Speaker Lord Allan Velasco revealed on Tuesday he was also “ostracized” during Taguig Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano’s reign at the House of Representatives.

Velasco shared one instance where Cayetano invited all congressmen for a meeting except him – the time he felt he was being intentionally excluded.

Cayetano and Velasco became political rivals after the first reneged on the term-sharing deal he shared with the latter, where it was agreed they would share the three-year term of Speakership. The first 15 months for Cayetano and the remaining 21 months for Velasco.

No less than President Rodrigo Duterte had to mediate between the two amid the escalating Speakership squabble which posed the possibility of a delayed passage of the 2021 national budget.

Velasco, in spite of this, said he is forgiving. He added that it was Mr. Duterte who asked them to be reconciled.

He confirmed that he had indeed patched things up with Cayetano during their latest meeting in Malacañang.

While his predecessor Cayetano was accused by some lawmakers for demonstrating “authoritarian” leadership, Velasco said he won’t be a kind of leader that is “dictatorial.”

“I really work quietly. I don’t want my works to be advertised. I have a different style of leadership,” said Velasco.

“I want to share the leadership with everyone. I want to make use of the abilities of each lawmaker in the Congress,” he explained.

The House leader urged the public to judge him once his term has already ended.

Velasco earlier suspended all committee hearings to sit down with House Majority Leader Martin Romualdez to align their calendar on the legislative agenda of the President.

“We will be looking at the four aspects which the President wants—health, education, livelihood and food security—in the Congress,” he noted.

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