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Zarate says House speakership fight not over yet, warns of ‘brewing brutal brawl’

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Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate on Wednesday said it is premature to talk of the minority leadership now when the fight for the House speakership is “actually far from over despite an ex cathedra intervention.”

The Makabayan lawmaker said the battle for the House speakership was still brewing despite the intervention of President Rodrigo Duterte who endorsed on Monday a term-sharing agreement between Taguig Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano and Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco.

“As it is, there still seems to be a brewing brutal brawl for the speakership because not all are satisfied with the supposed Magellan solution or the 15-21 term sharing solution for Reps. Cayetano and Velasco,” Zarate said.

“There are even circulating text messages among House members not to support or ignore the said sharing scheme on July 22,” said the Davao-based solon, citing revelations earlier made by Anakalusugan Rep. Mike Defensor.

Zarate said he was not convinced by some quarters’ attempts to divert attention from the speakership battle into the minority leadership.

“Ang pag-float ng minority leader issue ngayon ay mukhang smokescreen lang para pagtakpan ang namumuong banggaan pa ng Kongreso,” he said, referring to reports that House Majority Leader Fredenil Castro is interested in the post.

“Also, if someone is to be the minority leader he should at least be part of the true minority who opposes the anti-democratic and anti-people policies of the administration,” said Zarate.

“Mahirap namang hawak na nga nila ang leadership ng Congress ay pati minority leadership ay kukunin pa nila. Hindi uubra ang isang ‘company union’ sa Kongreso ngayon lalo pa at Cha-cha ang pangunahing isasalang sa pagbubukas ng 18th Congress,” he said.

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