Cayetano: I will be independent for a few days
After being sidelined in the Senate presidency race, Senator Alan Peter Cayetano has decided to become independent at least for a few days or weeks while observing the “actual support” for President Rodrigo Duterte either from the new majority or minority group in the Senate.
“I’ll decide in the next few days or the next few weeks but as of now, I wanna see muna kung sino ang supportive sa legislative niya (Duterte) at hindi. I will be independent for a few days,” Cayetano told reporters on Tuesday.
“Mag aantay ako whether I will join a certain group to look at the actual support sa ating pangulo, kung ano ang magiging character ng majority, ng minority. Hindi niyo ako masisisi dahil 18 years na ako sa Congress e; nasubukan ko na ang Minority leader, Majority leader, (to be with the) administration or opposition, so wala namang pressure. Pwede naman akong maghintay a few days or a week or two to see kung kumusta ang takbo.”
(I’ll wait whether I will join a certain group to look at the actual support to our President and at what the character of the majority and the minority will be. You can’t blame me because I’ve been in the Congress for 18 years; I’ve tried being the Minority leader, Majority leader, (to be with the) administration or opposition, so there’s no pressure. I can wait for a few days or a week or two to see how it will run.)
“Don’t put too much importance on me. Sino ba ako, isang senador lang, to affect the majority and the minority (Who am I, just a senator, to affect the majority and the minority). I’m happy being a sort of vision keeper for the President,” he added.
Cayetano refused to categorically say, however, whether or not he had doubts that the new majority bloc would be supportive of the Duterte administration.
“Let me keep it to myself kasi nand’yan na e. Before mabuo (ang majority), my words, my opinions mattered kasi binubuo mo pa lang. Ngayon na nabuo na, let’s give the benefit of the doubt, and let’s give them all the support. I mean, sino ako para magsabing 18 kayo na hindi ganito, hindi ganyan. So I’ll take their words for it. Kapwa sila senador, honorable sila. ‘Pag sinabi nilang supportive, e ‘di supportive,” he said.
(Let me keep it to myself because it’s already there. Before the majority was formed, my words, my opinions mattered because it was still being formed. Now that it’s formed, let’s give the benefit of the doubt, and let’s give them all the support. I mean, who am I to say ‘it’s not supposed to be this way.’ So I’ll take their word for it. They’re all senators, all honorable. If they say they’re supportive, then they’re supportive.)
“Whether I have doubts… that’s for myself. It’s not for me now to influence the public, the fellow senators because the senators have spoken,” said the senator.
Cayetano, who aspired to become the Senate President, also explained his absence when new Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III was elected during Monday’s opening of the 17th Congress.
“Bakit absent ako kahapon? Unang-una, meron ng consensus sa leadership ng Senate, so I wanted to give Sen. Koko and their group their moment; e kung dumating ako kahapon tapos nanalo pa ako, e ‘di masisira pa yung moment nila,” he said in jest.
(Why was I absent yesterday? First of all, there was a consensus on the leadership of the Senate, so I wanted to give Sen. Koko and their group their moment; if I was there yesterday and if I won, then their moment would be ruined.)
“So it’s just as simple as that; I wanted to give them the respect and for them to have their moment.”
Cayetano assured that there would be a no threat of coup from him, saying the majority of his colleagues have already made a decision.
“There’s no threat from me. I’m not planning a coup or comeback because nakapag-decide na. We have to give them a chance,” he said. JE/rga
Video by Tarra Quismundo
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