Eric Yap ‘neutral’ on Cayetano-Velasco speakership feud

Representative said Thursday he should remain “neutral” on the House Speakership battle between Lord Allan Velasco and Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano so he could focus on the hearings on the 2021 national budget.

Yap admitted in an interview that he was one of the nine solons who abstained from voting yesterday on whether the House would accept or reject Cayetano’s as Speaker.

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“I express support to the Speaker because he is now the Speaker and I respect the institution. So bilang Speaker, ginagalang ko siya and sinusundan ko siya. Pero pagdating sa magkakaroon ng botohan, I will abstain dahil ngayon ay budget season,” he told ANC.

“Bilang chairman ng Appropriations, siguro ito ang pinakatama kong gawin na huwag makisali sa gulo ng speakership issue at instead mag-focus sa budget. Kung ako makikisali, kawawa ang taumbayan. Walang mag-aalaga, walang tututok sa budget ng ating bansa,” he added.

Yap added he is ready to work with whoever will sit as House Speaker in the coming months.

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Eric Yap ‘neutral’ on Cayetano-Velasco speakership feud

“I have to stand up for our people. I have to be neutral. I have to do what I have to do because this is the budget season, and bilang appropriations chair, malaki yung responsibility na nakaatang sa akin,” he said.

“At kung ako ay mamumulitika pa, makikisali sa awayan ng left and right, kawawa yung mga taong bumoto sa akin and I will let the people down,” Yap added.

In an interview on Wednesday, Deputy Speaker Luis Raymund Villafuerte said that some chairmen of House committees, including Eric Yap, would be removed from their positions once Marinduque Representative Lord Allan Velasco becomes the Speaker.

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However, Oriental Representative Salvador Leachon, an ally of Velasco, denied Villafuerte’s claims. He said Velasco had agreed not to change the leadership at the House except for the Speaker.

Nevertheless, said he is ready to be replaced as chair of the appropriations panel if the Speaker says so.

“Bilang chairman ng Appropriations, siguro ito ang pinakatama kong gawin na huwag makisali sa gulo ng speakership issue at instead mag-focus sa budget,” Yap said.