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Nilangaw? Only 15 solons attend Villar’s emergency caucus for Cayetano

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By JOHN CARLO M. CAHINHINAN

It seems that Taguig-Pateros Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano was true to his words that he doesn’t have the numbers to become the next speaker of the House of Representatives.

Politiko learned that only 15 congressmen have attended the emergency caucus called by Nacionalista Party (NP) chairperson Sen. Cynthia Villar last Wednesday in a supposed attempt to consolidate forces behind the speakership bid of Cayetano.

In a photo obtained by Politiko from a reliable source, only 13 NP solons and two others from the party-list bloc heeded to the call of Villar for a meeting at the the Shangri-La Hotel in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City.

Among the politikos who attended meeting are Cayetano ang his wife Taguig City Rep. Lani Cayetano, Camarines Sur Rep. Luis Raymund Villafuerte, and Bagong Henerasyon Party-list Rep. Bernadette Herrera Dy.

With a low turnout, some observers think that Cayetano could be annihilated by his rivals if the election for the next leader of the Lower House will be held now.

In an interview with the ABS-CBN News Channel (ANC) last July 1, Cayetano said Leyte Rep. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez has the biggest number of supporters in the House so far out of all the contenders for the House leadership

“If you ask me right now sino ang pinakamarami baka si Martin pa,” said Cayetano.

Cayetano almost turned the tables and regained a momentum for his speakership bid last week due to the alleged meddling of some members of the Duterte cabinet who were reportedly dipping their hands to revived the so-called term-sharing deal with Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco.

Buhay Party-list Rep. Lito Atienza on Thursday named some members Duterte cabinet’s economic who were allegedly maneuvering for the revival of the term-sharing deal which will only benefit Cayetano. They are Finance Sec. Carlos “Sonny” Dominguez, Public Works Sec. Mark Villar, and Transportation Sec. Arthur Tugade.

Dominguez already the denied the allegations made by Atienza.

Atienza earlier stressed Cayetano has no clear chance of winning in a fair fight that’s why his handful supporters were trying to revive the issue of term-sharing—his only ticket to become the next House Speaker.

On Friday, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte and her influential regional party, Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP) have rejected the so-called term-sharing deal being pushed by the camp of Cayetano to finally resolve the speakership row, saying it is “counterproductive” and will just “slowdown” the last three years of the Duterte administration.

Mayor Sara’s party earlier endorsed Davao City 2nd district Congressman and former House Committee of Appropriations chair Isidro Ungab as an alternative choice for the speakership.

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