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House party-list bloc backs Cayetano amid rumored ouster plot

The 54-member Party-list Coalition in the House of Representatives throws its support to Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano, as rumors of an ouster plot grips the chamber.

"The solid party-list bloc Partylist Coalition Foundation, Inc. fully supports the consensual leadership of Speaker APC (Alan Peter Cayetano)," said SAGIP party-list Representative Rodante Marcoleta, who serves as spokesperson for the bloc.

"With Cayetano's stewardship bearing on the reform agenda of President Duterte, the sectors represented by the PCFI stand to benefit. Thus, with its current 54 members, the PCFI will remain an integral part of the supermajority of the 18th Congress of the Philippines," he added.

According to Marcoleta, Cayetano met with the core leaders of PCFI last week, during which he expressed hopes that the momentum of the House in its legislative work will not be disrupted by "petty politicking."

"He is thankful that the PCFI lends a hand even as he expects everyone to contribute more before the House adjourns next week --- mindful of what we could accomplish together when we buckle down to work as a team," Marcoleta said.

Cayetano earlier alleged that Marinduque Representative Lord Allan Velasco, a PDP-Laban member, was working to remove him by offering leadership posts to lawmakers, assuring them of extra budgetary allocations for their districts.

Velasco is set to assume Cayetano's position by October in accordance to their "15-21" term-sharing agreement that President Rodrigo Duterte himself brokered at the beginning of the 18th Congress.

Earlier, Velasco said he would honor the term-sharing agreement. The PDP-Laban meanwhile had vowed it would not take part in any plot to remove Cayetano, if there was any.

The PCFI played a key role in the election of Cayetano as Speaker after it accepted the endorsement of Duterte for the latter to be the leader of the House of Representatives.

Apart from PCFI, the Nacionalista Party and the National Unity Party expressed support for Cayetano in a meeting last week.

Cayetano is expected to meet with members of the PDP-Laban party at the House on Monday. —Erwin Colcol/LBG, GMA News