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Cayetano camp shows ‘manifesto’ of support for him to remain Speaker

GMA News Online logo GMA News Online 10/12/2020 ERWIN COLCOL,GMA News
Alan Peter Cayetano sitting at a table using a laptop

Soon after supporters of Marinduque Representative Lord Allan Velasco "elected" him as Speaker, the camp of Taguig-Pateros Representative Alan Peter Cayetano on Monday released a "manifesto" of support for him, supposedly signed by a total of 200 lawmakers.

“Following the President’s call for the individual members of the House of Representatives to vote freely and without reservation on who we wish to lead this chamber, we the undersigned hereby manifest our full and unequivocal support for the continued leadership of Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano," read the manifesto issued by Cayetano's office.

The event that "elected" Velasco counted a vote of 186-0 in favor of him as speaker.

The House lists 299 current members.

In signing the manifesto, the lawmakers expressed their "common desire" to heed the call of the President for Congress to swift passage of the 2021 national budget.

“We likewise join the call of Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano and the leadership of the House of Representatives for unity and cooperation among our colleagues in all priority legislation that are in line with the efforts of the Duterte administration in combating the COVID-19 pandemic and providing a safe, prosperous, and comfortable life for all,” they added.

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At the same time, the lawmakers who signed the manifesto also believe that Cayetano's offer to resign from his position last September 30 had rendered the term-sharing agreement between him and Velasco "moot and academic."

“We therefore call on Congressman Velasco to respect the collective desire of his peers to allow the continuation of Speaker Cayetano’s exemplary leadership," they added.

But while the manifesto showed the names of the 200 lawmakers who signed, there are some who were present and even took part in the election of Velasco as Speaker.

One of them was Deputy Speaker Conrado Estrella III, whose signature is on the fourth page of the manifesto, but who himself presided over the "session" to elect Velasco to the position.

The signatures of Zamboanga Del Sur Representative Divina Grace Yu and Maguindanao Representative Esmael Mangudadatu are also attached in the manifesto, yet they themselves nominated Velasco to the speakership.

Deputy Speaker Johnny Pimentel's signature is also found in the manifesto, yet he was present in the gathering of pro-Velasco congressmen earlier in the day.

Mangudadatu denies signing

In a phone call to GMA News Online, Mangudadatu denied consenting to attach his signature to the manifesto issued today.

"I am categorically denying my signature. Wala akong pahintulot doon sa signature na yan," he said.

According to Mangudadatu, he gave his signature back in September 30 when Cayetano offered his resignation, but he expected that it would already "expire" once Velasco takes over as Speaker.

"Bumoto ako nang yes na para hindi siya mag-step down that time. Ang inaantay ko naman hanggang 14, na yung yes na yun, mag-e-expire today kasi tomorrow mag-aano na si Lord Allan Velasco," he said.

"[Pero] itong signature na pinapakalat nila ngayon, wala akong pahintulot diyan," he added.

GMA News Online has also reached out to Estrella and Yu to confirm their signatures in the manifesto.

Velasco's team has yet to release the names of the 186 lawmakers who voted for him as Speaker. — BM, GMA News

This article Cayetano camp shows ‘manifesto’ of support for him to remain Speaker was originally published in GMA News Online.

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