It was a weeklong circus that ended with the installation of Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco as the new Speaker of the House, replacing Alan Peter Cayetano.
There are numerous memes about this congressional drama and most make fun of Cayetano’s theatrics, particularly the rejection of his earlier resignation and when he was prayed over by colleagues which smacks of hypocrisy.
Negrense actor, Dwight Gaston posted “In the battle between the two Allans, I predict that Cayetano will lose coz he is only Peter while Velasco is Lord,” just before Congress announced the new Speaker yesterday.
Rep. Kiko Benitez (Neg. Occ., 3rd District) nominated Velasco in behalf of the Visayan Bloc that has about 44 members in Congress.
However, not all are allies of Velasco as there are two in Panay who were recently appointed by Cayetano.
It may take a while before the rift in Congress settles down as the fight was too close with Velasco getting 186 votes to his side from among 299 members. Wooing half of the members to show a semblance of unity is no joke. But, as the saying goes, he who holds the purse can buy loyalty and it will not be surprising if all of them will be shouting praises for Velasco in no time.
I am interested who among the 184 congressmen who rejected Cayetano’s resignation jumped ship to Velasco and what where their reasons.
Was it the president’s threat which was aimed at Cayetano to resolve the leadership issue and pass the budget, or are prized chairmanships on the line to replace those who stood by the former Speaker.
I personally don’t like both Allans as they will simply kowtow to whoever is in power anyway. The independence of the legislative branch has been laughable under this administration. However, between the two, I wanted Velasco to take the reins because Cayetano has simply become intolerable and his obvious craving for power was just scandalous.
In fact, when Velasco was voted into power by his allies in a session at the Celebrity Sports Complex, Cayetano called it “illegal” and an hour later, released a manifesto signed by 200 house members backing his leadership. Hmmm…with only 299 total members and 186 in attendance at the Velasco installation, who among them stabbed Cayetano in the back?
Of course it is not surprising as this House of Clowns is already tainted with so much scandal and becoming traitors is like second nature to many of them.
Cayetano must be licking his wounds as the end result of this weeklong drama just ridiculed him and extinguished his “dream” to celebrate his 50th birthday as the third most powerful person in the country.
Although he finally succumbed to pressure and announced his resignation as speaker, Cayetano’s timing was bad and it will never be recorded as resignation because he was ousted nine minutes earlier than that.
“I go now with a clear conscience. I have done my best, I have given my all, I leave with no regrets, and I hold no rancor in my heart towards anyone,” Cayetano said, urging his colleagues to “restore the dignity of Congress as an institution and as a symbol of democracy, and right the wrongs that have been made in the name of partisan politics.”Ahh, what dignity is he talking about? It will majority of them to resign from their posts to redeem the integrity of the house.
Both Allans met with the president right after that and according to a post from Senator Bong Go, they were advised to unite and pass the budget for the good of the people. “TatayDigong was like a father who talked to his sons.” Ugh!
On the other side of this drama is the politicking behind doors involving the president’s children. First it was Davao Rep. Paolo Duterte who slammed Cayetano for allegedly giving more funds to favored allies, promoting the latter to meet up with him accompanied by his wife. Soon after that, Paolo was silent on the leadership row.
Then Velasco’s turn came and paraded a picture of him with Davao Mayor Sarah Duterte which magically brought supporters to his side a couple of days later. Apart from the obvious that Sarah is much more powerful than her brother, many are saying that this act may just be a show of force that she is ready to succeed her father. Another ugh!
Nevertheless, while the House of Clowns is back in session, the turmoil is not over. In fact, in his last message, Cayetano asked Velasco to keep his “palabra de honor” and retain the present people holding key chairmanships in the House. Of course, Velasco does not need to honor that because Cayetano was, after all, the first to break his palabra when he refused to relinquish the speakership that was agreed upon with a handshake.*