Duterte to accept Cayetano’s apology
President Rodrigo Duterte would accept the apology of former House speaker Alan Peter Cayetano over a “misunderstanding” in the term-sharing deal, according to Malacañang Palace in a report by CNN Philippines.
Cayetano apologized to Duterte in a meeting Tuesday for thinking that the President wanted him to finish budget deliberations first before handing over the speakership to his slated successor, Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco.
“He was like a father, no. Of course, a father would accept an apology from a son, and all’s well that ends well,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque told CNN Philippines’ The Source.
Cayetano resigned irrevocably from the contested post on Tuesday, the same day Velasco’s election as speaker was ratified by majority of House members in the plenary.
The two rivals also met with Duterte in Malacañang, where they both reiterated their support for the administration and vowed to work together to ensure the timely passage of the proposed 2021 budget.
“The President, of course, was very appreciative of the cooperation of both parties, and he appreciated the fact that Congress has been focusing on the budget because that’s his call from the beginning,” Roque added.
The Spokesperson saw no problem with the House decision to reopen plenary debates on the budget, as long as the preferred timeline is met.
“Re-opening the budget would, of course, result in more discussions. As long as the discussions are concluded within the period called for by the President with the holding of a special session, there would be no negative effect on the budget itself,” he stressed.
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