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Gustong ipagpag si Romualdez? Cayetano names Boyet Gonzales as Deputy Speaker for internal affairs

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By JOHN CARLO M. CAHINHINAN

It seems that presumptive Speaker and Taguig-Pateros Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano is already planning to get rid of the position of the Majority Leader even though he hasn’t formally assumed yet in the House leadership.

During a fellowship hosted by members of the ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino – Lakas ng Bayan (PDP Laban) in Taguig City last Thursday, Cayetano announced that he will assign Mandaluyong Rep. Neptali “Boyet” Gonzales II as Deputy Speaker who is in-charge of the chamber’s internal affairs—a task traditionally assigned to the House Majority Floor Leader, the position expected to be filled by Leyte Rep. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez this coming July 22.

“A Deputy Speaker for Internal Affairs, si Cong. Boyet, so that yung mga tingin ni Martin na kailangan hindi na ako ang mag-approve, dinedicate ko na kay Boyet,” said Cayetano.

“(Yung) mga tingin ni Martin na kailangan ako mismo, we’re a phone call away, so I hope this is the more, so if its work, then we have given more authority to more congressmen, and it might stand a good system,” he added.

Gonzales, a veteran lawmaker, is a former House Majority Floor Leader himself during the 14th, 15th, and 16th Congresses.

Political analyst Prof. Dennis Coronacion, warned that the latest move by Cayetano not only duplicate the role of the Majority Leader but “such practice undermines the agreement” that place him and Romualdez in their respective incoming positions following last Monday’s pronouncement from President Rodrigo Duterte.

“It also puts doubt on Cong. Cayetano’s sincerity to abide with the agreement,” said Coronacion.

Duterte last July 8 recommended that Cayetano and Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco should proceed with the term-sharing deal for speakership while he named Romualdez as his preferred choice of the position of Majority Floor Leader.

Coronacion, chairman of the University of Santo Tomas (UST) Political Science Department, stressed that it’s also obvious Cayetano “wants to make sure that the people who will be working closely with him are those who are loyal to him and those who are trust worthy.”

He added that the latest move by Cayetano may displease several congressmen especially those who previously supported Romualdez’s speakership bid.

Meanwhile, Ateneo School of Government Prof. Edmund Tayao said although the Speaker has discretion in reorganizing the House of Representatives, the Cayetano Speakershp may not even reach 15 months if the Taguig-Pateros solon will not abide with the agreement.

“He shouldn’t wanna give more reason to the other side to cast him aside,” said Tayao.

“Kung hindi siya tutupad sa agreement, babagsak ang coalition. Pati siya yari,” he added.

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