The new House of Representatives leadership is willing to adjust to accommodate former Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano should he decide to help his successor, Speaker Lord Allan Velasco, in running the chamber.
Velasco extended anew his hand to Cayetano in a bid towards reconciliation, saying that his offer for Cayetano to choose between being a deputy speaker and handling a committee chairmanship still stands.
So far, there are no vacancies among 63 standing and 17 special committees of the House.
All deputy speakership positions are also filled up, so are House representations to the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal and the Commission on Appointments.
Thus, for Cayetano to be given a position, Velasco will have to either create a new position or a vacancy by asking the current occupant to step down.
“Yes, of course. He’s (Cayetano) the former speaker and I truly believe that he deserves the position,” Velasco said when asked whether or not the offer for Cayetano to become deputy speaker still stands.
The House leader said Cayetano could also choose to be chairman of a congressional committee.
“He (Cayetano) can choose either a committee chairmanship or a deputy speaker position,” he said.
The new speaker stated that after a bitter squabble for the speakership, he and Cayetano have buried the hatchet and agreed to work together to push for the remaining of the legislative agenda.
Their gesture of reconciliation was witnessed by President Duterte during a Malacanang meeting on Tuesday.
Duterte brokered the 15-21 term sharing agreement that later became the object of the two lawmaker’s fierce feud.
“Like what I said last time during one of my speeches, I said I’m extending my healing hand to former Speaker Cayetano and I did,” Velasco said.
The recent meeting with Duterte transpired after the 186 House members ratified Velasco’s election as Speaker and Cayetano tendered his irrevocable resignation.
Velasco thanked Duterte for all his help in making sure the term-sharing agreement he brokered would be followed.
“I’m thankful to the President because he was there again to mediate between the two of us and he patched things up that’s why I’m glad and thankful to the President and former Speaker Cayetano,” Velasco said.