THE recent issue at the House of Representatives is the term not sharing between Taguig City Representative Allan Peter Cayetano and Marinduque Representative Lord Allan Velasco on the speakership of the house.

A little flashback would reveal that when the race for the speakership began, President Rodrigo Duterte brokered the sharing of term of office between the two gentlemen. Cayetano who is the current speaker of the lower house, would get the first half of the term and Velasco the remaining half until the elections.

Cayetano who showed his leadership in the house since his election and commencement of his "share" of the term, is now adamant to relinquish his post in favor of Velasco. While he has been said to have resigned for his speakership, his colleagues, manifested their call for him not to step down.

For those with fat brains, they would think that there is manipulation or power play in the move of lower house lawmakers supporting Cayetano. They are thinking that the support has a price or favor involved. They would easily think and say that Cayetano supporters were given favors, promises or even sums of money to vouch for the speaker's stay.

Recently, the Velasco camp has stated that President Duterte and the gentleman and "supposed speaker would be" from Marinduque has made some talks and that the chief executive is mad. He is even said to have mentioned to Velasco that they were fooled, "nadenggoy tayo," to be exact.

The term sharing scenario has dragged the issue of the passage of the 2021 budget since Cayetano is said to be delaying as accused by Velasco. The passage of the said budget is very crucial since in there are the various programs and projects directed to the country's Covid19 battle.

In the passage of the budget for the ensuing year, if it is not prepared, deliberated and approved during the current year, the same shall be deemed re-enacted. The current budget has not much on the pandemic fight.

Velasco, meanwhile, is still fighting and hoping that Cayetano would eventually respect and adhere to their gentlemen's agreement to share terms. They have traded barbs though.

The President, on the other hand, merely expressed that they (he and Velasco) were fooled and that the 2021 budget should be passed and that there should be no more further delay. He did not categorically pushed Cayetano to step down and Velasco to step up.

In its real sense, term sharing, even in local elective positions, should not be allowed in the first place. A public position, high or low, should not be a subject of an agreement or a contract. This includes term sharing and there is no such thing as that. It is more of an internal arrangement as there is no term-sharing scheme mentioned in the Constitution or election laws.

I suspect that Cayetano is holding on to the speakership in preparation to his plans to run for the presidency. The house leadership is a great factor to catapult one to Malacanang. If Cayetano would retain such, it would be a big boost for him. On the other hand, he is branded as a man not of his words as he would not want to adhere to what has been gentlemanly agreed upon.


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