Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano on Wednesday thanked his colleagues in the House of Representatives for their continued support for his leadership even as he assured that their budgetary concerns will be addressed.
Cayetano called for a caucus of the majority bloc to iron out kinks that have threatened to slow down the legislative processing of the 2021 national budget.
He stressed that there will be no “blackmailing, no hostage-taking” and moves that will taint the budget process with “pork parking or corruption.”
The speaker also vowed to hear out the budget concerns of each congressman.
“That budget should be able to address iyong kabuhayan at buhay – lives and livelihood,” the House leader stressed.
Immediately after the caucus, allies of the House leader took turns in addressing the plenary to air their support for Cayetano’s continued leadership of the chamber.
The Taguig-Pateros lawmaker is bound by a gentleman’s term sharing agreement to step down as speaker by next month and give the seat to Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco.
Cavite Rep. Elpidio Barzaga led the group of solons in declaring support for Cayetano.
Barzaga is the president of the National Unity Party (NUP), one of two political parties that pushed for Cayetano’s candidacy for speaker. The other is the Nacionalista Party of which the speaker is a key member.
Caloocan City Rep. Edgar Erice declared that because of his outstanding accomplishments in the chamber, Cayetano should be allowed to serve out the remainder of the 18th Congress.
Reps. Mike Defensor (Anakalusugan partylist), Jonathan Sy-Alvarado (NUP, Bulacan) and Henry Oaminal (NP, Misamis Occidental) also declared their support for the incumbent House leader.
Defensor, chairman of the House Committee on Public Accounts, cited Cayetano for his high trust and performance rating as speaker.
Claiming that he represents the party-list coalition, Defensor said that owing to the high trust ratings of the House leader, Cayetano must not be allowed to step down.