As this is being written, several allies of Marinduque Congressman Lourd Alan Velasco are reportedly now at the Celebrity Sports Plaza preparing to mass support for the ouster of Speaker Allan Peter Cayetano.
This after President Rodrigo Roa Duterte asked Congress for the re-convening of the House of Representatives in a special session. Such a formal request by the President is a valid exercise of powers under the 1987 Constitution.
Duterte thru his spokesperson Harry Roque is reportedly distancing himself from the speakership row and is only desirous of passing the 2021 budget. Roque appeals to both parties to reportedly set aside politics.
Yet, it seems that the very same political allies of the President himself are poised to contravene this presidential appeal. Yesterday, several Congressmen received a text asking for support of Velasco’s speakership bid. Velasco’s group is gunning for at least 185 votes to secure the Speakership.
Since the special session will only happen tomorrow, Velasco’s allies are doing something unconstitutional because such a meeting outside the House is not allowed by the rules. What will happen if Velasco forces the issue is what we call a rump legislature or rump meeting that happens before a large meeting.
What Velasco does not know is that if his allies move to unseat the Speaker during the special session that would directly hit Mr. Duterte because the presidential himself already washed his hands off the speakership row and advised both camps to cease political wrangling. Velasco’s move will surely and further weaken Duterte’s political power and will deem him a sitting duck of a president. Not until, of course, he dissolves Congress and declare a revolutionary government.