By JOHN CARLO M. CAHINHINAN
A top honcho of the ruling PDP Laban in the Lower House has blasted majority-bloc congressmen over “premature talks” on whether or not to still proceed with term-sharing deal for the Speakership brokered by no less than President Rodrigo Duterte.
Deputy Speaker Johnny Pimentel said the President’s decision on the term-sharing between Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano and Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco “remains controlling” and it must be followed by members of the PDP Laban-led super majority in the House of Representatives.
“At this point it would be useless to speculate. Instead we should devote our time to pass the priority bills of the President,” said Pimentel.
Pimentel’s remarks came following the pronouncement made by the National Unity Party (NUP) last week that the Cayetano-Velasco deal may not proceed as plan, considering the high trust and approval ratings gained by the former Foreign Affairs secretary during the recent survey released by Social Weather Station (SWS).
Party-list Congs. Mike Defensor (Anakalusugan) and Eric Go Yap (ACT-CIS) are also Having second thoughts on whether or not the term-sharing deal for the House leadership will still push through.
According to Defensor, it is unconventional to change the direction of the Lower House when the chamber is doing well—in reference to Cayetano’s latest survey figures.
“Kung ang Pangulo natin eh playing coach ng basketball team at si Speaker eh forward, hindi naman siya power forward, forward lang o guard, eh siya naman ang pumu-puntos sa ngayon bakit mo tatanggalin at ibabangko mo?” said Defensor.
For Yap, the term-sharing deal is a mere gentlemen’s agreement between Cayetano and Velasco but it was never put on paper.
“Iyong term-sharing, meron silang verbal agreement doon. Hindi naman ako kasama duon eh. Di ba? Basta ang alam ko lang bumoto kami ng Speaker, hindi naman kami tinanong kung magteterm-sharing. Isang beses lang kami bumoto noon,” said Yap.
Yap is under the Hugpong ng Pagbabago-led “Duterte Coalition” who then vocally lobbied against the proposed term-sharing during the hotly-contested Speakership race last July.
But Pimentel stressed that “there are more pressing matters that Congress should give priority to instead of this speculation which is just fueling political intrigues.”