Herrera welcomes formation of BTS but appeals for unity at House

Published January 14, 2021, 12:44 PM

by Charissa Luci-Atienza 

House Deputy Speaker Bernadette Herrera welcomed the formation of the Back To Service (BTS) bloc by former Speaker Taguig City-Pateros Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano but appealed to his colleagues to work together and to avoid trading barbs, saying what should be prioritized is the promotion of the welfare of all Filipinos during the last two “legacy” years of President Duterte.

House Deputy Majority Leader, Bagong Henerasyon (BH) Party-List Rep. Bernadette Herrera (MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

“Wala po tayong problema kung may mga naghahangad na bumuo ng bagong samahan o koalisyon sa Kongreso. Natural at normal lamang po ito sa isang institusyon na kung saan ay nakapahalaga ng alliance-building. Wine welcome po natin ang mga ganitong grupo,” the Bagong Henerasyon partylist representative said in a statement.

(We don’t have a problem with that if they aim to form a group or coalition in Congress. It is natural and normal in an institution where alliance-building is important. We welcome this group)

“Ang hiling at hangarin ko lang po sana ay magtulungan na lamang kaming lahat lalo na’t nasa “legacy mode” na ang panunungkulan ng Pangulong Duterte. Tayo po ay nasa “last two minutes” na kumbaga sa larong basketbol,” she added.

(My only appeal and goal is that we work together especially that the leadership of President Duterte is on a legacy mode. We are in the “last two minutes” if we compare it to basketball game)

She made the appeal as Senior Deputy Speaker Doy Leachon issued a statement on the supposed BTS launch Thursday, calling Cayetano and six other former leaders of the House of Representatives “ungrateful.”

“Their BTS launch is insignificant as to derail the Velasco’s legislative agenda because the current leadership under Speaker Velasco has earned the respect of the members of the supermajority because they lucidly see a decent man, not vindictive, working leader who has also a gentle heart to feel the needs of the House members,” Leachon said.

“But I wish them good luck, and a piece of advice – don’t ride on BTS popularity because it might connote a different meaning fitting of what they attempt to do – Bitter Talaga Sila,” he said.

In a media interview in Legazpi City, Albay last Wednesday, Cayetano said they just wanted to restore the image of House, which “has become the House of Politics” rather than the House of People.

“Alang-alang sa kapakanan ng ating mga kababayan, ceasefire na muna sana sa mga bangayan at siraan. Hindi po ito makatutulong sa paghatid ng magandang serbisyo publiko para sa mga Pilipino,” Herrera said.

(For the sake of our countrymen, let’s have ceasefire, let’s stop attacking each other. This will not help us in the delivery of better public services for the Filipinos)

Aside from Cayetano, other members of the BTS bloc are Reps. Luis Raymund “LRay” Villafuerte Jr., Camarines Sur; Dan Fernandez, Laguna; Raneo Abu, Batangas; Mike Defensor, Anakalusugan; Jose Antonio Sy-Alvarado, Bulacan; and Fredenil Castro, Capiz.