By JOHN CARLO M. CAHINHINAN
MANILA – Taguig-Pateros Congressman-elect Alan Peter Cayetano’s aspiration to become Speaker is fast becoming a déjà vu of his failed bid for the Senate Presidency three years ago.
Cayetano’s dream to lead the 304-man House of Representatives suffered a major blow following the dinner in Malacañang last Tuesday which was co-hosted by one of his main rival, reelected Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco, and President Rodrigo Duterte’s eldest son, Davao City Congressman-elect Paolo Duterte.
During the said the dinner, no less than the President and his kin both agreed in front of close to 150 attendees that the race for the House leadership was now down to between Velasco and returning Leyte Rep. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez.
Cayetano had made known his House ambitions when he decided to step down as Foreign Affairs secretary in October 2018.
But his dream hit a wall last March when Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP) chairperson and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte endorsed both Romualdez and Velasco on separate occasions during the campaign trail as successor of former President and now outgoing House Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
The returning Taguig-Pateros solon was considered a favorite to take the Senate Presidency following his failed Vice Presidential bid in 2016.
Cayetano then was so close to the promise land if not for Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III, president of the ruling administration party, Partido Demokratiko Pilipino – Lakas ng Bayan (PDP Laban) who announced his desire to seek the Senate leadership during a coalition event with the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) in Makati City.
Twenty-one senators voted for Pimentel during the opening of the 17th Congress while Cayetano was not present during that day.