Cayetano says Speakership rival Velasco lied about term-sharing

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MANILA — Taguig Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano on Monday accused Marinduque Rep. Allan Lord Velasco of supposedly lying when the latter said they had no term-sharing deal for the House Speakership. 

President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday said Cayetano, his losing 2016 runningmate, agreed to serve as Speaker for 15 months and be succeeded by Velasco for 21 months, but that the latter backed out at "the last minute." 

"Sinabi ni Cong. Velasco, there was no such agreement… Alam naman niyang kasinungalingan iyon because sila nag-propose nun e," Cayetano told ANC. 

(Cong. Velasco said there was no such agreement. He knows that is a lie because they proposed that.) 

"Okay lang sa kin magsinungaling s'ya because politicians lie… But to call the President a liar by saying na there's no such agreement, I'll not take that sitting down. Congressman Velasco owes the President an apology and he owes the people na maging mas honest s'ya (to be more honest)," he said.

There was no immediate response to ABS-CBN's request for comment from the Velasco camp. 

Velasco last week denied that the President pushed for the term-sharing agreement. 

"President Duterte already made clear his position that he would leave the choice for Speakership to the capable hands of the members of Congress, and will not endorse a particular individual for the position. This declaration never mentioned a term-sharing for the position of Speaker," Velasco he said in a statement. 

Cayetano said he was supposed to serve as Speaker first before Velasco because as a former senator, he had a better working relationship with the upper chamber of Congress, which is needed to push for the President's legislative agenda. 

He said Velasco's wife Wen last Monday "agreed in principle" to the term-sharing but asked for "a few days." 

"Sabi niya (Wen), 'wag kang mag-alala kay Lord, mabait naman iyan. Susunod iyan sa napag-usapan natin," said Cayetano. 

(She said, don't worry about Lord, he's kind, he'll follow what we talked about.) 

But the Velascos, he said, later called the President saying that "all is off." 

On the same day, Velasco's camp released a manifesto of support signed by several House colleagues, said Cayetano. 

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