Booted out as Speaker, Taguig Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano was stripped of another position Friday, this time as the caretaker of the First District of Camarines Sur.
On Monday, Cayetano was voted out by 186 congressmen, almost three-fourths of the 299-member House of Representatives, after he refused to honor a term-sharing agreement with now Speaker Lord Allan Velasco that had been brokered by President Rodrigo Duterte in July 2019.
By Friday, Cayetano was also replaced as legislative caretaker by Rizal Rep. Michael John Duavit early Friday, a few minutes before the session was suspended.
Cayetano had been elected as the district’s caretaker in September following the death of the late Rep. Marissa Andaya, wife of former majority leader Rolando Andaya.
Before the start of the 18th Congress, Cayetano sought to be speaker, even though he had the least number of supporters among other aspirants to the position, Velasco and now Majority Leader Ferdinand Martin Romualdez.
Cayetano, who was the losing running mate of Duterte in the 2016 elections, sought the President’s intervention to persuade the other aspirants to withdraw in his favor.
Duterte brokered a gentleman’s agreement in which Cayetano would serve as speaker for the first 15 months of the 18th Congress and Velasco would serve in the last 21 months. Romualdez was to be majority leader throughout the 18th Congress.
As the deadline for the turnover neared, however, Cayetano refused to budge and had his allies cast a vote of confidence in his favor.
A week later, however, 186 congressmen—including those who gave him a vote of confidence—junked him in favor of Velasco.
After his ouster, Cayetano submitted his “irrevocable resignation” as speaker through a Facebook post.
Meanwhile, in his final act as Minority Leader, ManilaRep. Bienvenido Abante Jr. on Friday delivered the Minority’s turno en contra and announced that he would be joining the Majority after expressing confidence in the new leadership.
At the tail-end of his speech, Abante, who served as Minority Leader in the first 15 months of the 18th Congress, said that he had “full trust in the new leadership in its pursuit of a legislative agenda that is not only pro-people, but more importantly, responsive to the need to provide effective and sufficient interventions to control the COVID pandemic.”
“And there is no better symbol of this trust than an expression of intent to join the Majority so I could be more proactive in providing urgently-needed legislation and Congressional oversight,” he added.
Abante thanked his former colleagues in the Minority for their support, and said that the decision to step down as the Minority Leader and leave the Minority Bloc was difficult.