Taguig-Pateros Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano is leaving nothing to chance in his all-or-nothing bid to become Speaker.
Cayetano pulled out a classic “trapo” move to prevent his rivals from organizing an uprising to steal the speaker’s post from him at the last minute.
Cayetano on Sunday called for an emergency meeting inside the Luna Café in Taguig City with leaders of major political parties, including his two rivals for the post, namely Leyte Rep. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez and Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco for a unity caucus on the eve of the opening of the 18th Congress.
“So just give us some time to get organize, to listen to the SONA tomorrow, and God willing po, tuloy-tuloy at maganda po ang ating Kongreso,” said Cayetano in his short message which was aired via Facebook live.
Some congressmen who requested anonymity saw the emergency meeting called by the Cayetano Camp as a “loyalty check.”
Cayetano is banking on President Rodrigo Duterte’s endorsement of his term-sharing deal with Velasco as his only chance of being Speaker because he simply does not have rhe numbers.
Cayateno felt nervous after Duterte announced that while he might have backed the term sharing pact, he left it to House members to decide who should be their Speaker.
Cayetano made it a point to make both Velasco, who would take over as speaker after 15 months, and Romualdez, who would be majority leader, speak during the same Facebook live feed.
Romualdez said they “resolved to work for the Filipino people for the betterment of their lives, and for the Republic of the Philippines putting the Duterte administration legislation agenda foremost in our minds.”
Velasco, for his part, said: “We’re just trying to show everyone na nagkakaisa talaga ang Congress. We want to be a unified Congress, para naman ma-push natin ang legislative agenda ng ating Pangulo.”