By Mario Casayuran
Senator Panfilo M. Lacson said Saturday talks of the speakership at the House of Representatives being bought from House members ranging from P500,000 to P1 million each makes Philippine politics ‘’nakakahiya (very shameful).’’
There are four bets locked for the House speakership: Former House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, former Senator and Taguig Representative-elect Alan Peter S. Cayetano, Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez, and Marinduque Representative-elect Lord Alan Velasco.
After confirming that P500,000 to P1 million was being offered to each congressman, Alvarez said: ’It is sad, it should not happen.’’
Asked what was his take on this situation during a radio interview, Lacson said the current state of Philippine politics was not sad but shameful.
Lacson, a former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief and chairman of the Senate accounts, and public order and dangerous drugs committees, said he has never heard of bribe money being offered for a top position at the Upper House. He is now into his third six-year term at the 24-member Senate.
‘’Wala akong narinig man lang maski usap-usapan na para maging SP mamimili ng boto, walang ganoon,’’ Lacson said. (I haven’t heard, or even through whispers, of votes being bought for the Senate presidency.)
‘’Sa HOR (House of Representatives) although may umuugong na ganoon di namin alam kung may katotohanan yan o hindi,’’ he added. (There are rumblings at the HOR of vote-buying but we don’t’ know whether it is true or not.)
Lacson said he would believe the Lower House vote-buying rumors if Senator Richard J. Gordon says so.
‘’Kasi wala ring tigil ang ano niyan. Pag may ganoon talagang ibubulgar niya yan. Tama yan. Naniniwala ako sa kanya, gagawin niya yan,‘’ he added. (Because Gordon talks a lot, I would believe it if he says so.
Outgoing Senator Loren Legarda has said that the speakership at the Lower House has never been in her radar.
On reports that the race for the speakership involves the giving of P500,000 to P1 million to each congressman, in bribe money, Legarda said she believed that a government post should not be for sale.