The 18th Congress has yet to be convened but it seems Speaker aspirant and Taguig Rep.-elect Alan Peter Cayetano has already been acting as if he were the leader of the House of Representatives, observers have said.
On Tuesday, Cayetano will get to try the feel of being Speaker when he hosts an orientation seminar for the new members of the House at the posh Quest Hotel in Clark Field, Pampanga.
In other developments:
• Twenty-one neophyte congressmen on Monday started their training aimed at orienting them on their roles and responsibilities as lawmakers when the next Congress opens on July 22. The House of Representatives and the University of the Philippines National College on Public Administration and Governance organized the executive course for new members of the incoming 18th Congress. The new legislators will be trained on June 17 to 19, on June 24 to 26 and on July 1 to 3.
• A former Commission on Elections chairman and veteran election lawyer on Monday joined the call to cancel the nomination of former National Youth Commission chairman Ronald Cardema as a representative of the Duterte Youth Party-list group for being overaged. Former Comelec chief Sixto Brillantes, along with election lawyer Romulo Macalintal and Millenial’s PH Aunell Angcos, filed a petition to disqualify Cardema from the Duterte Youth party-list group for being overaged.
Cayetano tapped several members of President Rodrigo Duterte’s Cabinet to deliver lectures on lawmaking and the budget process.
They include Secretaries Mark Villar of the Department of Public Works and Highways, Arthur Tugade of the Department of Transportation and Carlos Dominguez III of the Department of Finance.
The subjects on “Parliamentary Procedure” and the “traditions of Congress” will also be discussed with the newbies by professor Edmund Tayao and returning Mandaluyong Rep. Neptali Gonzales II.
The others hosts include Cayetano’s party-mates in the Nacionalista Party, House Deputy Speaker Raneo Abu, Reps. LRay Villafuerte of Camarines Sur and Ronnie Zamora of San Juan, Abraham Tolentino of Cavite and Dan Fernandez of Laguna of PDP-Laban, and Elpidio Barzaga of Cavite, Robbie Puno of Antipolo and Bong Bravo of the party-list Co-op-Natcco―all members of the National Unity Party.
After the “luncheon lecture,” Cayetano will host cocktails and socials as well as the dinner for his fellow legislators.
Cayetano reportedly got the ire of the influential daughter of the President, Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, after he threatened to split the ruling super coalition PDP-Laban if Duterte failed to endorse his speakership.
READ: Sara bares ‘threats’ made by Cayetano, Alvarez
Cayetano’s threat did not sit well with the pillars of PDP-Laban.
Cayetano, who served as a Foreign Affairs secretary of President Duterte, claimed he would be the chosen one to help the President push his legislative agenda
for the second half of his six-year term.
Earlier, the 55-member party-list bloc said Tuesday it will vote for either Reps. Lord Allan Velasco of Marinduque or Martin Romualdez of Leyte for the position of House Speaker.
Puwersa ng Bayaning Atleta Party-list Rep. Jericho Nograles said earlier in a statement choosing between Velasco and Romualdez would be tough “because both of them are close to our hearts.” With Vito Barcelo
READ: Ruling party undecided on House bet for Speaker