A few allies of the Speaker Lord Allan Velasco on Thursday disparaged the new House bloc formed by former Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano, with one lawmaker seeing the bloc as a way to revive the political career of Cayetano.
Cayetano on Wednesday announced the formation of a bloc in the House of Representatives called “BTS” or “Back to Service.”
Senior Deputy Speaker Salvador “Doy” Leachon said the launching of BTS was an “obvious publicity stunt and gimmickry from someone who’s trying to revive his political career.”
“Sino ba ang talagang namumulitika? Sino ba ang hindi maka-move-on? Sino ba ang bitter (Who is really politicking? Who cannot move on? Who is bitter?),” Leachon asked in a statement, obviously referring to Cayetano.
Another Velasco ally, Negros Oriental 3rd District Rep. Arnolfo Teves, said Cayetano must remember what he did last October that did not find favor with President Rodrigo Duterte, which led to the ouster of Cayetano as House Speaker.
“Lest we forget, it was Cayetano who didn’t want to have a full deliberation of all agencies for the national budget, which Speaker Velasco did and successfully finished the budget within the necessary period to ensure that it will not be reenacted,” Teves said.
Probinsyano Ako party-list Rep. Jose Singson Jr., for this part, said Cayetano and his allies appeared to be “self-entitled, petulant children” in launching BTS.
Members of Cayetano’s BTS group are Camarines Sur 2nd District Rep. Luis Raymund “LRay” Villafuerte, Laguna 1st District Rep. Dan Fernandez, Anakalusugan party-list Rep. Mike Defensor, Bulacan 1st District Rep. Jose Antonio Sy-Alvarado, Capiz 2nd District Rep. Fredenil Castro, and Batangas 2nd District Rep. Raneo Abu. All of were removed from the chairmanships of various House committees after Velasco took leadership of the House.
In an interview on Wednesday, Cayetano said the launch of the BTS was aimed at giving the House of Representatives an honest to goodness platform for giving legislative service devoid of patronage politics and idleness.
“Traditional politics is at play in Congress, causing it to veer away from ideally being the House of the People and changed it into a “House of Politics”, Cayetano said.
The BTS, he said, would not engage in traditional politics but focus on bringing legislative agenda guided by the organization mantra, “Bayanihan, Tapang at Servicio.” CURRENTPH