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Huwag pakipot! Cayetano wants to become next House Speaker, Erice says

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By JOHN CARLO M. CAHINHINAN

Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano’s plan to return to Congress is just a part of his bigger objective for 2019 to probably vie for the speakership of the House of Representatives, according to an opposition lawmaker.

Caloocan City Rep. Edgar Erice said the first thing that came into his mind was Cayetano’s possible bid for House Speaker following President Rodrigo Duterte’s pronouncement on Tuesday he will run for Taguig City congressman in the 2019 elections.

Erice said Cayetano would not sacrifice his present high-level cabinet position just to become a regular legislator in his impending House comeback.

“Yes that’s the first thing that came into my mind, and I think he can easily achieve to become House Speaker, unless the opposition gets the majority in the 2019 which is quite difficult at this point in time,” he said.

Cayetano will replace his sister, incumbent Deputy Speaker Pia Cayetano (Taguig-1st district), who is joining next year’s senatorial race.

Professor Dennis Coronacion, chair of the Department of Political Science in the University of Santo Tomas (UST), said the cabinet official “can easily win a Senate seat” next year. Cayetano must have figured out that the position of House Speaker will be vacant in the next Congress with the expected retirement of Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo after June 30, 2019.

“Sec. Cayetano can easily win a Senate seat, so why is he running as a district representative of Taguig? He sees the situation favorable to him since there are no clear candidate in the leadership of the lower house,” said Coronacion.