MANILA - Taguig-Pateros 1st District Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano is responsible for the ruckus at the House of Representatives for refusing to honor a term-sharing deal on the speakership, a political analyst said Tuesday.
“It’s quite clear the person responsible for all this disorder and uncertainty in the House is of course Representative Cayetano. There was a term-sharing agreement in place and he just flatly refused to honor it,” political scientist Cleve Arguelles told ANC’s “Matters of Fact.”
Under the agreement that President Rodrigo Duterte brokered last year, Cayetano will lead the House for the first 15 months, followed by Marinduque Lone District Rep. Lord Allan Jay Velasco who will take over the reins in the succeeding 21 months.
For Arguelles, who is a PhD candidate at the Australian National University-Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs, breaking political promises is par for the course for traditional politicians.
“It does say a lot how hard it is to make politicians publicly accountable when they couldn’t even honor a simple intra-elite, gentleman’s agreement,” he said.
On September 30, Cayetano offered to step down as Speaker of the House of Representatives citing Velasco's eagerness to take over the chamber's helm but was readily rejected by his colleagues.
On Monday, Velasco was "elected" House Speaker after some 186 lawmakers declared the position vacant during a session outside the Batasang Pambansa.
The power struggle between Cayetano and Velasco is also a “bad time” as the lawmakers are deliberating on the proposed 2021 national budget, which includes the country’s pandemic war chest.
“This is no ordinary budget. We're talking about a budget that hopefully will get us out of the crisis that we are now facing,” Arguelles said.
This “awkward situation” between the 2 lawmakers is also brought by the President who refuses to make a clear stand on who should assume the post, he said.
“It’s a case of making sure you wouldn’t upset a political force that might otherwise be a problem later on,” Arguelles said.
“So he wants the people, the members of his coalition to just do the fighting themselves and whoever comes out the strongest is the man that he will continue to support in the House.”