Retired Air Force General's Analysis on Speakership Issue Involving Cayetano & Velasco

Veteran Air Force General and multi-awarded member of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Major General Romeo V. Poquiz shared his brilliant analysis on the controversial speakership issue involving Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano and his rival Congressman Lord Allan Velasco.



According to the veteran General there is no denying that Alan Peter Cayetano is an effective Speaker of the House of Representative.

Speaker Cayetano organized and rallied his fellow congressmen to support him despite the differences on their political affiliations.



The House of Representatives under the leadership of Cayetano provided critical support to the Duterte administration in carrying out the government's priority programs and the required legislation to mitigate the effects of the COVID19 pandemic and combatting terrorism, among others.

According to Gen. Poquiz, House Speaker Cayetano was able to do this through the traditional sharing of pork barrel and other perks to his colleagues, but unfortunately he created more posts for Deputy Speakers from 3 to 15.

Speaker Cayetano also distributed chairmanships and memberships of the 80 standing, special, and ad hoc committees to both party-mates and opposition members. He also made sure that most of his colleagues got shares of the pork barrel through congressional insertions.

Due to this strategy, Speaker Cayetano generated broad support for all his initiatives and ensured his continuing stay as the Speaker. 

However, the unfolding events on the term-sharing agreement between him and Congressman Lord Allan Velasco which was originally facilitated by no less than Pres. Duterte. The subsequent gesture of Cayetano and not honoring the President will surely affects whatever political plans the Speaker have in mind.



Read the Complete Analysis of Romeo V. Poquiz:

There is no denying that Alan Peter Cayetano is an effective Speaker of the House of Representatives. He organized and rallied his fellow congressmen, many of whom were formerly from other political parties, to support him.

Together, they provided critical support to the Duterte administration in carrying out the government's priority programs and the required legislation to mitigate the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and combating terrorism, among others.

How was he able to do this? Through the traditional sharing of pork barrel and other perks to his colleagues, unfortunately. He created more posts for Deputy Speakers - from 3 to 15. He distributed chairmanships and memberships of the 80 standing, special, and ad hoc committees to both party-mates and opposition members.

More importantly, he made sure that most of his colleagues got shares of the pork barrel through congressional insertions. By these actions, the Speaker generated broad support for all his initiatives and ensured his continuing stay as the Speaker. 



However, the unfolding events on the term-sharing agreement between him and Congressman Lord Allan Velasco as Speaker facilitated no less by President Duterte, do not look good.

The actions of Speaker Cayetano during the meeting with the President, his privilege speech at the lower house in front of his colleagues, and the subsequent nominal voting on his offer to resign all point to his intention not to honor the agreement, due to the following observations:

1. The meeting at Malacanang, called by the President himself, is a clear indication that the President wanted the "gentlemen's agreement" he facilitated to be honored, otherwise, he will appear stupid and like a lame duck. Mr. Cayetano was not able to sense this, or simply did not.

He even challenged the President to fire him not only as Speaker but also as a congressman, and that he will gladly obey him if the former does so. How can a sane President ever do that, without severe repercussions?

Mr. Cayetano also imposed many conditions before he gives way, such as celebrating his birthday as Speaker and his holding the budget as hostage. Without saying it, the President wanted the agreement honored as is without preconditions. In Tagalog it is called "makuha ka sa tingin".



In the military we call it "take hints". He even threatened that Mr. Velasco does not have the support of their colleagues and will not win the election as Speaker. He should not have said that because he himself did not initially have the numbers, and that he won as  Speaker only because of the popularity of President Duterte.

2. Mr. Cayetano lambasted Mr. Velasco in his privilege speech. He painted the latter as incompetent, uncooperative, and worse, cannot be trusted. He and his House leaders did not give the same privilege to Mr. Velasco to explain himself, thereby making the allegations as gospel truth.

3. Mr. Cayetano mentioned in his speech that the stand of Mr. Velasco on the 2021 budget was that there should be no changes in the NEP (National Expenditure Program), or the President's Budget.

If this were so, then, Mr. Velasco will not only win the election as Speaker but will also be crucified by his colleagues.  Without changes in the NEP as submitted by the President means the congressmen cannot allocate pork barrel for themselves and cannot input these in the Departments' budgets.

4. Mr. Cayetano made an offer to resign, which his colleagues rejected in nominal voting. However one looks at it, these were all a charade, well-scripted though. There is no such thing in the House rules that a sitting Speaker offers to resign.



It is either the Speaker resigns without any offer to do so whatsoever, the post of the Speaker is declared vacant, and election follows. In the sham election that followed, obviously for the reasons cited, Mr. Cayetano remains as Speaker.

So what's next? Mr. Cayetano has only two options. Firstly, he should give way to Mr. Velasco as agreed upon and rally his fellow congressman to support the latter. Secondly, stay as Speaker since he has wide support among his colleagues.

Unfortunately for Mr. Cayetano, either option is not good for him. If he chooses the first, it will be goodbye to his presidential ambition. The Speakership would have been his perfect stepping stone to the Presidency come 2022 elections.

If he chooses the second and not honor the agreement, he will go down in history as an evil politician without a "palabra de honor", which is an important Filipino trait. In such a case, the President will feel insulted as the facilitator. With a very popular Duterte, even up to the 2022 elections, Mr. Cayetano may not even win reelection in his district if he defies the agreement.

Source: Gen. Poquiz FB Page

Retired Air Force General's Analysis on Speakership Issue Involving Cayetano & Velasco Retired Air Force General's Analysis on Speakership Issue Involving Cayetano & Velasco Reviewed by Phil Newsome on October 03, 2020 Rating: 5
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