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Kaya mo ba? Cayetano dares Atienza: Oust me if you have numbers

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By JOHN CARLO M. CAHINHINAN

Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano has challenged Buhay Party-list Rep. Lito Atienza to formalize his ouster plan against him during a plenary proceeding.

Atienza earlier said it was about time for the House of Representative to have a new Speaker if Cayetano and his henchmen continued its inaction over the 11 pending legislations that seek to grant a fresh 25-year franchise to embattled broadcast giant ABS-CBN.

Cayetano said instead of ranting his frustration in the media, Atienza should just move to declare the House Speakership vacant if he thinks that the former Foreign Affairs secretary lose the trust and confidence of his colleagues amid the discussions over the franchise renewal of the Lopez-owned media conglomerate.

“Ang panawagan para sa mag-resign ay ginagawa sa floor, you move na walang confidence o palitan,” said Cayetano.

Any member of the Lower House can move to declare the position of Speaker during a plenary session, if he or she thinks that the motion will have the support of majority of the members.

Cayetano stressed he will not waste single minute in his position if he thinks the he already loss the support of the majority coalition.

“The moment na ayaw na ‘ko nung majority ng mga kongresista, aalis ako,” he said.

He added that the he will not heed to any pressure especially from the media for the Committee on legislative franchises to finally hear the 11 pending legislations in connection with the ABS-CBN franchise renewal amid the impending expiration of its current franchise by the end of March.

“Ayoko na ‘pag na-pressure ng media, maghi-hearing na kaagad… I’ve explained a million times why it’s important to have orderly, fair hearings,” he said.

“Kung kayang tanggapin ‘to ng majority ng mga kongresista, thank you. Kung hindi, then it’s time to choose a new leader and bahala na kayo. No problem,” the Speaker added.

At least 93 congressmen House Resoluton 639 filed recently by Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman that urges legislative franchises panel chaired by Palawan Rep. Franz “Chicoy” Alvarez to report out without further delay a consolidated bill on the franchise renewal of the Lopez-owned network amid the impending expiration of its current legislative franchise by the end of next month.

Both Atienza and Lagman have accused Cayetano and other leaders in the Lower House of pressuring congressmen who recently signed a resolution seeking to expedite the consolidated franchise renewal bill of ABS-CBN.

Cayetano last Thursday already denied such allegations, saying that the signatories won’t reach more than 90 congressmen if he did apply pressure to them but he also admitted that the signature drive launched by Lagman in support of HR 639 is “an affront” to his leadership.

“I think yung balita na withdrawal, sa iba once kasi that Cong. Lagman and the others started talking about discharge pag nag-discharge ka kasi youre challenging the leadership already eh,” said Cayetano.

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