The Taguig-Pateros Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano-led “BTS sa Congress” coalition isn’t after the House Speakership, members of the group said in a press conference Thursday afternoon.
“Sa inyong sa inyo na yung Speakership, isaksak niyo pa sa baga niyo, no problema sa amin. Hindi ‘yan ang issue dito. Ang issue dito, naghihirap ang tao (The Speakership is all yours, keep it close to your chest, no problem with us. That’s not the issue here. The issue here is, the people is suffering),” said former Speaker Cayetano, referring to the camp of his direct successor, Speaker Lord Allan Velasco.
Joining Cayetano in the presser were former Deputy Speakers Reps. LRay Villafuerte (Camarines Sur), Raneo Abu (Batangas), Dan Fernandez (Laguna); former Public Accounts chairman Rep. Mike Defensor (Anakalusugan); and former Good Government and Public Accountability chairman Rep. Jose Antonio Sy-Alvarado.
Capiz Rep. Fred Castro, another ex-deputy speaker, was supposed to join the much-hyped “BTS launch” but failed to make it. Cayetano’s groupmates all lost their plum posts in the House after Velasco took over the helm in the House last October.
“Ang problema dahil bilyun-bilyun ang dinagdag niyo sa budget niyo, nagpa-panic kayo kapag nagsasalita kami. Eh hindi naman ‘yun ang dahilan kung bakit kami nandito (The problem is that you added billions to your budgets, that’s why you panic whenever we speak. But that’s not the reason why we are here),” Cayetano said.
“Hindi problema ang Speakership ngayon; ang problema ngayon ‘yung vaccination, ‘yung presyo, ‘yung kahirapan ng tao. Walang threat sa Speakership niya dahil hindi ‘yun ang focus namin. Ang focus namin, issues (The Speakership isn’t the problem right now; the problem is vaccination, high prices, the suffering of the people. There is no threat to the Speakership because that is not our focus. Our focus is the issues),” he noted.
Defensor mocked the claims of Senior Deputy Speaker Doy Leachon (Oriental Mindoro) for calling the BTS faction “insignificant” ahead of their maiden presser Thursday. Leachon is a close ally of Velasco.
“Nagtataka naman ako sinasabi insignificant (kami), bakit kailangang mag-react? Kapag alam kong insignificant, no comment na ako, hindi ko na kailangang magsalita (I just wonder, if they call us insignificant, why do they have to react? If I know something as insignificant, I would neither comment nor talk),” Defensor said.
“Hindi naman nila kailangang kabahan dahil kami naman ay para sa ating taumbayan, sa ating administrasyon, kay Pangulong Duterte, at higit sa lahat sa kabuhayan ng bawat Pilipino (They need not panic because we are here for the people, the administration led by President Duterte, and the livelihood of each Filipino),” he added.
“Napaka-sensitibo nung kabila, na konting galaw lang, konting ano, iniisip nila, palitan na, kudeta na. Eh hindi naman ‘yun ang punto. Ang punto dito, ayusin natin ‘yung kailangan para sa taumbayan (The other camp is too sensitive, they get thoughts of a coup d’etat with every little act from us. But that’s not the point here. The point here is, let’s facilitate the needs of the people).”