The transformation of the House of Representatives from the “House of the People” to the “House of Politics” prompted former Speaker and Taguig Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano and six other lawmakers to form “BTS sa Congress,” a new group that, he says, aims to bring back service to the heart of legislators.
Cayetano admitted that using “BTS” was intended to “get people’s attention” since it was same name of the South Korean boy band considered to be the biggest musical act in the world today.
He says in the case of the new group, “BTS” means two things: “back to service Congress” and “_bayanihan, tapang, serbisyo_ [cooperation, courage, service].”
But the choice of “BTS” had received a backlash from fans—who call themselves the Army—who did not appreciate the boy band’s name being used by politicians.
After angering the fans of K-pop superstars BTS, Cayetano earned the ire of his colleagues at the House of Representatives for resorting to what they described as “cheap publicity stunt” and “political gimmickry” in a bid to attract public attention.
In a joint statement, Deputy Speakers Doy Leachon of Oriental Mindoro, Juan Pablo Bondoc of Pampanga and Arnolfo Teves Jr. of Negros criticized Cayetano’s “BTS” group.
Cayetano also suffered a backlash on social media together with six close allies in Congress who lost their plum posts following Cayetano’s ouster in October last year by the majority.
Cayetano claimed that the House under the leadership of his predecessor, Speaker Lord Allan Velasco, had become focused on politics as evidenced by the current moves to amend the Constitution.
He said this was what prompted the seven lawmakers to form the new bloc, which he said was similar to the so-called “Spice Boys” in Congress who were openly critical of the administration of President Joseph Estrada.
“Because [the House] has turned to politics, it has gotten a little lazy, it is focusing on political issues, it has turned into traditional politics again. Instead of being the House of the People, it has turned into the House of Politics,” Cayetano said.
But Cayetano says his group does not mean any offense to fans “whether they are allies or opponents.”
“Some are happy, others are angry. The point is that we want to bring back the main issues that the country needs, which are lives and livelihoods,” he said.
The other members of Cayetano’s independent bloc are Reps. Luis Raymund Villafuerte Jr. (Camarines Sur), Michael Defensor (Anakalusugan Party-list), Jose Antonio Sy-Alvarado (Bulacan), Raneo Abu (Batangas), Fredenil Castro (Capiz) and Danilo Ramon Fernandez.