JULY 21, 2019 – If the plan pushes through, Taguig City Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano will sit as House Speaker of the 18th Congress on Monday.
Senate President Tito Sotto, who is also the senior council leader of Nationalist People’s Coalition
confirms his party will support Pres. Duterte’s former running mate.
“I am informed that the members of NPC, we all agreed to it that we will be supporting Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano,” Sotto said.
PDP-LABAN, the president’s party and the ruling bloc in the lower house,
also calmed rumors of an impending coup against Cayetano.
Speaking to media while watching the Pacquaio-Thurman boxing bout, Pampanga congressman and PDP-Laban Executive Vice President Aurelio Gonzales said they will vote for the president’s choice.
“That’s the wish of the president kasi e we will respect the wish of the president so tomorrow Speaker Alan Cayetano (will become speaker]” he said.
To prove their commitment to Cayetano, the party will attend the 8 a.m. breakfast meeting that Cayetano arranged.
However, another meeting was called by presidential son and Davao City congressman Paolo Duterte.
Gonzales promised that PDP-Laban members will also grace the other breakfast meeting.
“Syempre we will go to that breakfast kasi naginvite ang anak ng pangulo si Congressman Paolo” he added.
Gonzales however did not clarify if members will be assigned to a particular meeting since both will happen almost the same time.
On Friday, Cayetano posted on Facebook a picture of him shaking hands with Paolo Duterte. His caption said that the younger Duterte agreed to be a deputy speaker under his leadership.
“Thank you very much Cong. Paolo ‘Pulong’ Duterte for our talk on what the country needs and how we can put together a very responsive Congress. Thank you also for accepting the challenge for being the next Deputy Speaker for Political Affairs,” said Cayetano.
Meanwhile, the Senate is projected to open with less tension and drama since the senators have already decided the committee chairmanship early on.
Still expected to lead the Senate, Sotto said newcomer Imee Marcos will handle the Committee on Electoral Reforms.
Senator Ping Lacson earlier raised concerns of a possible conflict of interest due to Marcos’ younger brother Bongbong, who filed an electoral protest against Vice President Leni Robredo.
Sotto said Lacson has accepted the decision to give the coveted position to Imee.
“Wala naman kinalaman ang committee with the present protests that are pending. Walang kinalaman yung committee,” he said.
Invoking the rule on the equity of incumbent, Sen. Francis Pangilinan will keep the chairmanship of the Committee on Constitutional Amendments, controversial committee now that the administration is pushing for Charter change.