I hate to break it to my friends over at Congressman Alan Peter Cayetano’s camp, but like Congressman Lord Allan Jay Velasco, it seems they counted their chicks way before the chicken laid the eggs.
As political observer Albert C. Lim put it in my interview with him on my Youtube Channel Social Media Soup, “Nothing is final until congressmen vote on the opening of the Inaugural Session of the 18th Congress.”
The rules of the House of Representatives dictate that the, “The Speaker shall be elected by a majority vote of all the Members of the House at the commencement of each Congress and whenever there is a vacancy in said office. In such election, the Secretary General shall call the roll and record the viva voce vote of each Member.”
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Viva voce is a term that I and many others take to mean that congressmen on the morning of July 22 will have to literally say who they are voting for as House Speaker.
Nothing that anyone says matters until a majority of our congressmen have voiced their vote for one of the House Speaker nominees.
All the propaganda coming out from Congressman Cayetano’s camp and even President Duterte’s announcement that Cayetano is his choice for House Speaker could still prove worthless.
Proof of this is the fact that some congressmen have signed petitions of support for all three nominees for House Speaker.
This is understandable because their main interest is to work for their respective constituencies, no matter who the House Speaker is.
As another political observer put it, “It would be rude to refuse to sign a petition of support for one of the nominees, especially if you are cornered by a fellow congressman who is supporting one of them.”
Even supposing that congressmen side with either congressman Lord Allan Jay Velasco or congressman Martin Romualdez, President Duterte wouldn’t mind and in fact, encouraged congressmen to vote as they sought fit.
The truest statement that came out of the House Speaker race actually came from Romualdez supporter Anakalusugan Party-list representative Mike Defensor when he said that each congressman should vote according to their conscience.
Defensor’s support for Romualdez is based on principle. As a representative of people pushing for better health care as well as expanding benefits for Persons With Disabilities, Defensor supports Romualdez because their legislative agendas are in alignment — Romualdez championed the passage of the law expanding benefits for PWDs and is known for his “malasakit” (compassion and caring).
Cayetano, according to some, is pursuing the House Speakership because he believes Duterte owes this to him. One rather tasteless and crude article that came out recently was one where it cited Cayetano as one of the biggest contributors to Duterte’s campaign.
Defeated vice-presidential bet Alan Peter Cayetano contributed P71.3 million in tandem ads to the 2016 campaign of Rodrigo Duterte, which is three times higher than his P23.6 million declared net worth in 2015.
In the context of Cayetano’s “veiled threats” of bolting the Duterte coalition made to Mayor Inday Sara and other similar news, the surfacing of such details would appear that Cayetano had somehow “bought” the House Speakership with tandem ads.
A friend noted, “Perhaps if he really did sincerely believe in Duterte, he should have bought ads just featuring Duterte and asked for nothing in return, not even an appointment for himself as well as his cronies.”