By Jun Ledesma

What is Cayetano up to?

WHAT is Speaker Alan Cayetano up to? Until he shook his own house by removing a strong pillar closely identified with Pres. Rodrigo R. Duterte, there is neither a storm or tsunami that could shake the foundation of the lower house. By the looks of it, he created his own scenario of a conspiracy to oust him as Speaker. But this is preposterous since, on the basis of a term sharing agreement which had the imprimatur of the Palace, he will exit and be replaced by Marinduque Congressman Lord Alan Velasco come October 2020. If he is a partyman and loyal to Duterte, then why rock the boat?

What is his beef against Appropriation Committee Chaiman Isidro Ungab who is only famous for getting budgets done fast and orderly. The last thing that this Davao representative is to create intrigue, as Cayetano claims, given the fact that the House of Representatives is ruled by PDP-Laban and the emerging Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HnP) which are all allied with Duterte.

Davao City Mayor Inday Sara, Chair of HnP, has spoken and speaking for HnP, declares strongly that the removal of Sid Ungab is not acceptable.

Cayetano, it seems, has a different agenda. The clue is the ouster of the head of the Appropriation Committee. We know that the budget for 2021 is an “election budget”. This elicits a question: Is Alan Cayetano wanting to run for President that he needs a person docile to him, one who can who can chair the Appropriation Committee in accordance to his political plot? He is counting his chicks in the house and woos a Party-list Representative of ACT-CIS to replace Ungab. Will this add up to a new  political alliance he wants to consolidate in the House?

This gives us an inkling Cayetano is not inclined to give up the Speakership that easy as he is aiming for the stars. His acts are symptoms that emerge from unrestrained ambition. Did he suspect that Ungab will stand in the way to his goal that he axed him to insure that his objective be achieved?  Brutus and Macbeth were driven with similar quest for power which eventually led to their ignoble death.

Two years are still left with the Duterte’s administration but already Speaker Cayetano thinks the President is a lame duck. His acts of aggression invites a test of leadership from the man who chose him as his vice presidential bet over the rest who wished to be his mate. Defeated, he was not abandoned by Duterte who in the proper time appointed him Foreign Affairs Secretary so that he will always remain in the political firmament.

Duterte is bent on achieving what is achievable in the remaining days of his presidency and I firmly believe that no one is that valued or mighty that cannot be jettisoned if he proves to be an obstacle to the President’s goal.



About the Columnist

Image of Jun Ledesma

Mr. Jun Ledesma is a community journalist who writes from Davao City and comments from the perspective of a Mindanaoan.