One of the House Speaker’s duties is to make sure that important political and economic legislation is passed in an efficient and timely matter.
House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano prides himself for having passed the 2020 budget in record time but not without detractors alleging that he had favored allies with hundreds of millions.
Fellow political observers looking at the behavior of some congressmen say that they saw quite remarkable changes which they say could indicate that vast sums of money changed hands.
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One of which was prominent Gloria Macapagal Arroyo ally Mike Defensor coming out in a prominent news article saying that House Speaker Cayetano should remain as House Speaker and renege on his term sharing agreement with congressman Lord Allan Velasco. This sticks out as an odd thing for Defensor to do, considering the hate-hate relationship Arroyo and Cayetano had.
If that’s strange, you’ll get your socks blown off when I tell you that a former government functionary says he’d even go to the extent of buying and planting kilos of illegal drugs right on the doorstep of Velasco so that he doesn’t get a chance of taking over as House Speaker.
But even as tons of cash giving people at the House of Representatives a giddy high, thousands of ABS-CBN’s employees and stakeholders have to do with weeks of restless sleep.
This is chiefly because their fate remains uncertain as the renewal of ABS-CBN’s franchise hasn’t been acted upon by Cayetano and the House Committee on Legislative Franchise chaired by Cong. Chicoy Alvarez.
The word I get is that not a single hearing has been called for the 10 or so resolutions for the renewal of ABS-CBN’s franchise filed by various other congressmen last year.
Seeing this situation, a fellow political observer said, “When it comes to shovelling millions into their pockets, Cawatano (referring to Cayetano) and his gang are blindingly fast. But when it comes to ensuring the livelihood of thousands of workers, they’re excruciatingly slow and quick to pass the buck.”
The political observer says that Cayetano and House Legislative Franchise committee chairman Alvarez keeps saying that he can’t act on the resolutions filed before his committee without a go signal from “upstairs” — referring to Malacanang.
Malacanang on the other hand says it is up to Congress to decide on ABS-CBN’s franchise renewal.
And while this buck passing happens between the House of Representatives and Malacanang, the calendar dates move onward and there are now just 17 days to go before the end of the 18th congress’ first regular session.
Another political observer speculates that Cayetano and his gang are sitting on ABS-CBN’s franchise renewal because they’re waiting for a higher money offer from the Lopezes.
Could Cayetano be such a depraved political entrepreneur that he’s willing to risk the livelihood of thousands just so he can get his hands on more money?