Former Speaker and Taguig-Pateros Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano’s allies were asked on Wednesday to step down from their committee chairmanship and other posts and give Speaker Lord Allan Velasco the chance to form the leadership team he fully trusts.
Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman dared Cayetano’s supporters who strongly opposed a Velasco speakership to resign and allow Velasco to implement a revamp of the chamber’s leadership.
Cayetano, however, slammed the suggestion, saying that Velasco should honor his commitment not to touch the committees, although the former speaker himself had reneged on his promise to give up the speakership post in observance of the 15-21 term sharing agreement he and Velasco forged last year.
Days before being ousted as House leader, Cayetano stripped Velasco’s allies of their respective posts mainly due to their support for the Marinduque lawmaker.
1Pacman Partylist Rep. Mikee Romero was first to be sacked by the then Cayetano-led majority. Romero was relieved as deputy speaker, one day after he accompanied Velasco to a meeting with President Duterte.
Also ousted were Reps. Helen Tan (NPC, Quezon); Sharon Garin (AAMBIS OWA), and Eric Martinez (PDP-Laban, Valenzuela City) as chairmen of the House Committees on Health, Economic Affairs, and Sports and Youth, respectively.
Romero and Tan were able to recover their respective seats on the first two days that Velasco came into power.
Oriental Mindoro Rep. Doy Leachon, who was removed early this year as head of the House contingent to the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal was also promoted by Velasco. Leachon replaced top Cayetano lieutenant, Camarines Sur Rep. Lray Villafuerte as deputy speaker.
Expected to be reinstalled after being sacked by Cayetano are Reps. Isidro Ungab (PDP-Laban, Davao City), Martinez, and Garin.
A source from the Velasco camp said the speaker is left with no choice but to replace Cayetano loyalists who backed the former speaker’s bid to stay in power.
He disclosed that among those who may be unseated were Deputy Speakers Prospero Pichay (Lakas-CMD, Surigao del Sur); Neptali Gonzales II (NP, Mandaluyong City) and Dan Fernandez (NUP, Laguna).
Reps. Jonathan Sy-Alvarado (NUP, Bulacan) and Mike Defensor (Anakalusugan Partylist) may also be asked to resign as chairmen of the House Committee on Good Government and Public Accounts.
Aklan Rep. Teodorico Haresco will also have to step down in favor of Garin should the latter accept her old post.