Philippines: Alan Peter Cayetano: House divided will fall

  • A week before the 18th Congress convenes, presumptive speaker Alan Peter Cayetano called on his colleagues from opposing camps to do away with squabbles as a “divided” House of Representatives will achieve nothing and will only fail.
  • Cayetano tried to persuade his colleagues to unite to achieve harmony and redeem Congress’ old glory.
  • President Duterte named Cayetano as his choice for speaker for 15 months with Velasco serving the rest of the three-year term under the term-sharing agreement. Romualdez, meanwhile, will serve as House majority leader in full term.
  • While the speakership will have a term-sharing agreement as per Duterte’s wishes, there should be no such setup in the committee chairmanships, Cayetano stressed.
  • Cayetano urged his colleagues to support him in reforming the House.
  • Cayetano designated Mandaluyong Rep. Neptali Gonzales II as deputy speaker for internal affairs to handle the reforms.
  • As it is now, the committee chairmanships, those who will comprise the 12-member House contingent in the powerful Commission on Appointments, the 14 deputy speakers, those who will be sitting at the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal are now being ironed out.
  • A congressman from the south said most of his colleagues had already accepted the “Solomonic” wisdom of the President in naming Cayetano and Velasco to divide the three-year term of speaker.
  • The lawmaker expressed doubts of a major movement against the wishes of the President to install Cayetano as speaker.
  • Duterte had expressed confidence that Cayetano would become the next speaker as he has the numbers for the votes needed on 22 Jul 19 for his election as the House top honcho.

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