Cayetano: Nothing wrong with separate breakfast meetings before 18th Congress opens
MANILA, Philippines – Taguig-Pateros Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano said on Friday that there is nothing wrong if factions in the House of Representatives would have separate breakfast meetings before the 18th Congress formally opens its session.
This, after reports circulated earlier that supporters of Cayetano, who is seeking the Speaker post, would hold a breakfast meeting different from that of Davao City 1st District Rep. Paolo Duterte.
“Gusto ko lang po i-announce na hindi bawal na dalawang beses mag-breakfast. Ako po mismo ay makikipag-breakfast po kay mahal nating magiging Deputy Speaker Duterte at iimbitahin at yayayain ko rin siya,” he said in an interview with DZMM after announcing that Duterte would be one of the Deputy Speakers.
“‘Yon po ay pa-breakfast ng House of Representatives,” he added.
According to Cayetano, it is natural for lawmakers to attend several meetings, as they do not want the interest of their constituents to be left behind. Plus, he also noted that lawmakers might need heavy meals because of the scheduled State of the Nation Address (Sona) in the afternoon.
“Siguro lang po ay dahil nga nag-iimbita. 80 po kasi ‘yung first term so siyempre ‘yung mga first term ayaw rin naman na madehado ‘yung kanilang lugar lalo po ‘yung mga sulok-sulok ng Pilipinas kaya nag-organize rin sila at marami sa first term na congressman ay malapit po kay Congressman Duterte,” he explained.
“‘Yon lang naman po ‘yon pero nagkalinawan kami na hindi naman bawal mag-breakfast ng dalawang beses lalo na mahaba ‘yung araw dahil may Sona sa hapon,” he added.
But even before Monday’s affairs, Cayetano said that a meeting would be held on Sunday to finalize the House’s line-up.
“So malamang po sa Monday at mai-announce po ‘yung Speaker, Minority Leader, Majority Leaader, Committee on Accounts, Committee on Appropriations kung magkakasundo po roon sa ibang mga deputy speaker baka ma-announce na lahat kung hindi, baka mga limang deputy speakers pa lang po muna sa Monday,” he explained.
“Pero after that Tuesday, Wednesday and the next two, three weeks, magmamadali po tayong i-organize ang committees kasi second week daw ng August, magsa-submit na ng General Appropriations Act or ‘yung NEP o National Expenditures Program, kailangan po trabaho na,” he added.
Prior to Cayetano’s announcement of a meeting between him and Duterte, there were rumors that the latter did not approve of Cayetano being House Speaker. This comes even as Duterte’s father, President Rodrigo Duterte, has pushed for a term-sharing scheme between Cayetano and Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco.
Under the President’s suggestion, Cayetano would have the first 15 months while Velasco would serve the remaining 21 months.
Earlier, Cayetano revealed that he has discussed with the younger Duterte the role of Congress in nation-building. He relayed that Duterte’s reminder was to follow the direction of the President, which is to stand against corruption.
“So, I think it’s a very important and crucial development today and nagustuhan ko naman po ang sinabi ni Cong. Paolo na basta’t sundin ‘yung direksyon ng ating Presidente, protektahan ang mga Pilipino at saka talagang hindi puwede may korapsyon,” he said.
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