Abrigo: House derby and monetary windfall

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HOUSE speakership is already brewing, two months before the 18th Congress will convene; and it is going to be a 6-corner fight among the allies of President Duterte. Even if the president said he is not in anyone’s side referring to speakership, but his blessing as a ruling party leader can be a game-changer.

There are six from my list of many timbers at the patting hole that are ready to ramble, whose tales of the tape are extremely impressive. Without particular order of its efficacy, they are: Marinduque representative Lord Allan Velasco, incoming Taguig-Pateros representative Alan Peter Cayetano, and Leyte first district representative Martin Romualdez who were seen with president Duterte during his Japan visit; Davao del Norte first district representative Pantaleon Alvarez; Pampanga 3rd district representative Aurelio Gonzales; incoming Antique representative Loren Legarda and more.

Many of us heard from the barrio folks that the one who cackles is the one who lays egg. But the old saying may not be applicable to former speaker Pantaleon Alvarez who is aiming to regain the post. Alvarez exposed to the media that one of the contenders (not he) is willing to dole out P1 million to each member of the congress in exchange of support for speakership. The mode of payment is 50 percent upon commitment and the other half will be given once the regular session begins.

Recently, another contender openly admitted that he has the backing of a business tycoon. He did not elaborate however on what his businessman- godfather will do.

If all runs true, the banker must be ready for the number game. After all what he gambled today is a calculated risk of investment for tomorrow.

There are 243 district congressmen and 61 party-list representatives. So, anyone determined to be the speaker must prepare P153 million or more for the guaranteed victory because the parliamentary rule needs 50 percent plus one vote from the total number of voters.

From the viewpoint of the voting congressmen, the glimmering P1 million is a good initial figure to defray their campaign and election expenditures.

I said initial because this is just the beginning of financial pluses being a representative.

We will be the spectators to the house derby and the monetary windfall to the congressmen who also bought our votes last May 13 elections. Shadows of doubts appear as to whether or not the congress can legislate for the good of the constituents, or to favor the lobbying tycoons who will buy them during this speakership match. One thing is sure, that money is powerful to buy vote, the vote that determines our future.



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