Honestly, I was a bit intrigued by the development that Party Lists had formed a coalition amongst themselves.
But, upon seeing that billionaire Congressman Mikee Romero was its president, I had to dismiss it as another PR gimmick that merely aims to project Romero’s non-existent stature among his party list peers.
It’s not an altogether novel way of trying people to get themselves talked about. It’s not as bad as making claims that they already had 140 signatures supporting their bid to be House Speaker.
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But still, it’s not at all effective for the main reason that it was Romero himself who was bandying his coalition around and hawking that it’s 51 members were going to vote as a block for a House Speaker.
What Romero is trying to say is that he has somehow gotten 51 proxy votes which he will in turn pledge to whichever of the nominees will make him House Majority Leader.
He’ll most likely draw out any announcement of a choice for House Speaker. because despite his bugoy bugoy ploy at projecting power, he may have been advised that the longer one holds out in naming a choice, the more valuable his block’s vote will be and the more concessions he will be able to barter for.
It’s very much like how some boardroom takeovers are done. Someone wanting to become the Chairman of the Board makes deals with other members board members for their votes.
I’m sure that such a tactic is not necessarily illegal or unethical, if it is done to serve the interests of investors as well as the general public.
However, Romero doesn’t seem like he’s after the best interests of what he claims to be a 30 million strong constituency.
Does he even know what a constituency is?
Even putting up and fielding his own basketball team in the PBA failed to convince anyone that he was a sports man.
Anyway… Granting that a substantial number of party list congressmen are really with him in this coalition, why has he only spoken about what he wants for his coalition’s votes?
I mean, with one vote per congressman, aren’t each congressman’s equal to another congressman’s vote?
Thing is, and Romero should admit this to his “proxies”, not all of them will get a committee chairmanship — a position which endows a congressman with additional funds, power, and prestige.
Romero asked for 20 percent of the House chairmanships and assuming that his coalition has 51 members, that will guarantee 14 or 15 chairmanships but leave 35 or so coalition members out in the cold.
He can’t even guarantee that the ruling coalition will grant him this and there is no sign that anyone has taken his demands seriously.
Word is, Romero is using his “coalition” to get the position of House Majority Leader.
In on gabfest over beer and pizza, an old political observer told me, “I pity the congressmen who may end up getting short changed by Romero. Pero, malamang din na alam nila na inuunggoy lang sila ni Romero at kapag andyan na ang botohan, mapapahiya si Romero, Totoy na totoy si Romero, kung batikan ka nang congressman papayag ka bang sumailalim sa mahina? An even better move towards getting a better deal in the House Speaker contest is to form another party list coalition and give Romero a run for his money. You’ll be in a better position to make demands for yourself, hindi naman talaga gagawin yan ni Romero para sa iyo.”