The earliest speaker that I could remember as a child was Ramon Mitra, the guy who could pass as KFC’s Colonel Sanders or Kenny Rogers. (Wait a minute. Why do these two chicken icons look alike? Is a thick white beard a requirement for putting up a chicken food chain? Then, why doesn’t Santa Claus fry or roast chicken?) Then, there was Jose de Venecia during the Ramos administration. Later came Sonny Belmonte. More recently, models and modesty were rocked by the anomaly that was Pantaleon Alvarez. Thank you for bringing us back to sanity, former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. Hey, you may have forgotten that a Bicolano once held the post in the guise of Arnulfo Fuentebella. That was during Erap’s impeachment trial. It was obviously political. (Is it not always?) He was speaker for a few months and his term was cut short because EDSA 2 forced then President Estrada out of Malacañang, and so has he from the speakership. Gloria Arroyo then became President, who would also become speaker. It’s interesting how tables turn and characters switch roles.
Why are they all grappling for the speakership? And why are there too many of them? One rumor goes that one aspirant already gave a treat to his/her social circle in the assumption of certain election due to the endorsement of the President’s daughter. I don’t remember Kris Aquino or Jo Ramos endorsing congressmen for the speakership. Neither do the mayors of Naga or Legazpi endorse congressmen for the position; nor do any mayor of any a city. To halt the nomadic horsemen from pulling and tearing the sheepskin, the buck stops at the President who says, come on now, why don’t you all share? I tried to research about it, but apparently, this could be the first time that a term would be shared between two house speakers. We’re witnessing history in the making, fellow countrymen. House Minority Leader Danilo Suarez says it would be counterproductive. Albay Representative Joey Salceda says it’s a “mad” policy. There are even questions on its constitutionality. I did a little math and it seems that the sharing scheme proposed by the President is built on a 3:7 ratio or 30% and 70%. Cayetano gets 30%; Lord Velasco gets the other 70%. I think Velasco should be the logical and traditional speaker, since he is the true party mate of the President which happens to be PDP Laban. So, what’s Congressman Cayetano whose political party is the Nacionalista Party doing there? By tradition and by majority of numbers, that seat is reserved for the majority party which just happens to be PDP Laban. So, his name may not ring a bell, but Congressman Lord Velasco may just be the rightful Speaker of the House. But the big guy resolves the commotion by proposing sharing, with the first smaller part to a close ally, and the larger part to the party mate. Apparently, the President is playing the game to seek to appease all concerned parties. I see an uncle who played gamesmaster among young children. To avoid, frustration of crying youngsters in any of the sides, he would gleefully announce, “Panalo lahat”.
That is simply fascinating. Our President who brutally hates drugs, threatens the Commission on Audit, and brags about making ass wipe of the Philippine Constitution, and everything of this sort, is a patron saint of sharing. See the congruence on the his promotion of sharing of the term of the speaker of the house, and how similarly, he endorses the sharing of Philippine waters, of the Philippine exclusive economic zone, of seawater resources, of livelihood. Our President endorses sharing of Philippine territory and its resources which rightfully are for the Filipino.
Join me in a comparative analysis here. In both cases, the President proposes sharing. The Philippine exclusive economic zone in the West Philippine Sea or South China Sea corresponds to the House speakership. The victimized and violated fishermen would probably be the contenders for the speakership who have been ignored. The President’s political allies and party PDP laban which receives the amassed advantage would be the Chinese? Could it be that the President considers the Chinese similarly as political allies, drinking buddies, compadres; displacing rightful holders of position. And yes, ladies and gentlemen, fellow countrymen, this is peace.
In the West Philippine Sea sharing, in the assumption that the bullies take advantage of it, it would be almost certain that the Filipino masses who would be pushed to the sidelines while the territory gets pillaged and plundered. In the House of Representatives sharing, would it also be certain that the Filipino masses be pushed to the sidelines while the nation gets pillaged and plundered?
“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke?” Isaiah 58:6