By Shane Juan
Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III said the speakership is not yet in the bag for Taguig Pateros Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano despite an endorsement from President Rodrigo Duterte.
Pimentel hinted Thursday (July 11) that things could still change when members of the House of Representatives vote for the new Speaker on July 22 unless Cayetano negotiates fairly with political parties.
“Sa July 22 para hindi siya magulat he has to make sure na na-convinced na niya lahat na iboto siya as House Speaker. Negotiate to all the political party and factions. Advantage siya ngayon with the statement of the president, ang swerte nga niya but it’s not an assurance,” the senator said at a weekly forum.
“This is a general reminder that you negotiate with us equal, negotiate with us in good faith and negotiate with us fairly, give and take dapat as long as walang mambabato ng monkey wrench sa plant it will be a smooth term-sharing,” he added.
Pimentel said he has authorized Surigao Del Rep. Johnny Pimentel and Pampanga Rep. Dong Gonzales to negotiate with Cayetano in a meeting scheduled Thursday night regarding committee chairmanships and term sharing.
Cayetano will share the term of Speaker with Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Jay Velasco, a PDP-Laban stalwart.
Under their agreement, Cayetano will serve as Speaker for the first 15 months of the 18th Congress. He will be followed by Velasco, who will hold the position until the Duterte administration ends in 2022.
Pimentel urged PDP-Laban members to heed the President’s endorsement even if Velasco wasn’t chosen to become Speaker first.
“Buo dapat ang 85 when we commit the party, mahina pa ang party system sa Pilipinas kung meron mang hindi sumunod pagdating ng panahon kami na bahala sa system namin on how to discipline a party member na hindi sumunod,” he said.