Cayetano looks forward to a single congressional breakfast caucus on the day of the SONA

Published July 20, 2019, 6:07 PM

by CJ Juntereal

By Ben Rosario

Presumptive speaker and Taguig-Pateros Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano is confident his meeting on Friday with presidential son and Davao City Rep. Paolo “Pulong” Duterte may have extinguished the remaining holdouts to his bid to become the next leader of the House of Representatives.

Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano (AP Photo/Aaron Favila / MANILA BULLETIN)
Taguig-Pateros Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano
(AP / Aaron Favila / MANILA BULLETIN)

Cayetano said the two congressional breakfast caucuses to be hosted separately by him and Duterte may likely be jointed into one come Monday.

The holding of the separate breakfast meetings among congressmen triggered speculations of a move to thwart Cayetano’s speakership bid as Duterte remained adamant at supporting his father’s choice for top House leader.

“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, “ Cayetano told a radio interview during a break in his meeting with Rep. Duterte. (I would like to announce that there is nothing wrong with having two breakfasts. I myself will join our incoming Deputy Speaker Duterte and I will invite him to join us)

Cayetano reportedly invited Duterte in a meeting in Taguig City in a clear attempt to convince the presidential son to drop plans of challenging his election for speaker on Monday.

During the meeting, Cayetano offered Duterte the newly-created post of deputy speaker for political affairs which the neophyte lawmaker reportedly accepted.

“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 iyong direksyon ng ating Presidente, protectahan ang mga Filipino at saka talagang hindi pwede ang korapsyon,” he said. (I support Cong Paolo’s condition for us to follow the president’s direction, protect the welfare of Filipinos and fight corruption.)

As deputy speaker for political affairs, Duterte will be tasked to unite the opposing factions representing different ideologies and politcal parties in Congress.
In a Facebook post, Cayetano thanked Duterte for his presence.

“Thank you very much Cong. Paolo “Pulong” Duterte for our talk on what the country needs and how we can put together a very responsive Congresss,” Cayetano wrote in his Facebook account yesterday afternoon.

“Thank you also for accepting the challenge for being the next Deputy Speaker for Political Affairs,” he said.

Cayetano has been endorsed to be speaker by President Duterte who recommended a 15-21 month term sharing between the Taguig-Pateros solon and Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco.

The president made the announcement of his personal choices for speaker a day after his son formed the Duterte Coalition that backed the election of Davao City Isidro Ungab as speaker.

The young Duterte appeared adamant at his father’s proposal that he announced that it did not spell an end to the search for speaker.

Rep. Duterte’s apparent refusal to toe his father’s line became visible when he allegedly invited his Lower House colleagues to a breakfast meeting that will be held simultaneously with the one to be hosted on Monday by Cayetano.