Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano denied reports that he convinced President Rodrigo Duterte to retain him as Speaker of the House in exchange for ABS-CBN’s franchise renewal denial.
In a statement to reporters, Cayetano said he never talked about the speakership in light of ABS-CBN franchise hearing results.
“It’s a hundred percent not true. Wala kaming usapan ng Pangulo about staying, wala kaming usapan ng Pangulo ng any reward or whatever sa ABS-CBN. Kung sinuman gustong mag-accuse, eye-to-eye, mag-lie detector test tayo. Kung sinong matalo sa lie detector test ay tumigil na sa kanyang profession,” Cayetano said
Cayetano reiterated that his only promise to the President was to conduct a fair hearing on ABS-CBN’s franchise renewal.
Recently, three congressmen have floated the idea that the denial of the ABS-CBN franchise has something to do with the term sharing agreement between Cayetano and Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco.
Reps Lito Atienza, Edcel Lagman, and Joy Tambunting believed that the committee on legislative franchise’s rejection of ABS-CBN’s franchise pointed to Cayetano.
According to the three lawmakers the Speaker may have influenced the committee to decide against the Kapamilya network as a token to Duterte in exchange for retaining the speakership. During his 5th State of the Nation Address, Duterte indirectly lauded congress for the ABS-CBN franchise outcome.
Rep.Cayetano and Rep. Velasco have agreed to share speakership terms brokered by President Duterte. Cayetano is set to end in his speakership in October with Velasco assuming the post until 2022.
Meanwhile, Atienza and Lagman, said that they would see to it that the term-sharing agreement will be followed.
“We shouldn’t allow that. A gentleman’s agreement is a gentleman’s agreement. It should be honored no matter what,” said Atienza.
Tambunting on the other hand said every member of the house will have their eyes on the term sharing agreement.