Bayan Muna rep says Makabayan not delusional with Zarate speakership bid
MANILA, Philippines — The Makabayan bloc does not expect Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate to get elected as the next speaker of the House of Representatives.
However, Zarate’s bid for the speakership is more of a political statement, incoming Bayan Muna Rep. Ferdinand Gaite said on Wednesday.
“Wala kaming ilusyon na mananalo si Kaloy […] but the point is hindi kami hihiga na lamang, matutulog, papabayaan naming ragasaan ang kapakanan at kagalingan ng mga mamamayan dito sa mga pasista, diktadurya, at mapaniil na patakaran,” Gaite told reporters in a press conference.
“Karapat-dapat lamang na magkaroon tunay na maglilingkod, tunay na independent, may sariling integridad na pamunuunan,” he added.
He also threw shade on those aspiring to be the next Speaker who anticipate the endorsement of President Rodrigo Duterte, as it violates the constitutional provision on the separation of powers between the executive and legislative.
“‘Yong Kongreso daw ay equal, separate branch of government. Pero ngayon, nagiging isang kalokohan dahil ngayon, hinihintay ‘yong basbas ng Malacañang,” Gaite explained.
“Paano ka naging pantay, paano ka naging co-equal and separate kung ang basbas ng pangulo ang kailangan para magkaroon ng isang leadership sa Kongreso? Hindi tayo magkakaroon ng isang equal branch,” he added.
Earlier, outgoing ACT Teachers party-list Rep. Antonio Tinio raised Zarate’s hand while announcing that he is their nominee for Speaker. Zarate however acknowledge that the odds are stacked against him.
In 2018, just before President Rodrigo Duterte was set to make his State of the Nation Address (Sona), members of the House of Representatives elected Pampanga 2nd District Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo as Speaker.
However, the Makabayan bloc failed to nominate its own bet, which supposedly paved the way for the rise of Quezon 3rd District Rep. Danilo Suarez as Minority floor leader.
House rules state that the Minority leader is elected by members of the minority. Suarez was elected through viva voce during a plenary session — something that lawmakers objected because it should have been a matter within the minority.
Members of the opposition, including the Makabayan bloc, have denounced Suarez’ hold of the minority, claiming that he is allied with the majority and Speaker Arroyo herself. (Editor: Mike U. Frialde)
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