MANILA – Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate believes President Rodrigo Duterte's latest announcement on the House speakership race was a move to save his administration's "fractious" coalition.
"As expected, contrary to his previous statements letting members of the House to freely choose their leaders, Pres. Duterte 'stepped in' in the House speakership race to salvage his already` fractious coalition and, hopefully, secure its survival until 2022," Zarate said in a press statement.
Zarate had also thrown his hat in the speakership contest.
"The cracks, though, are already very apparent in the once supermajority coalition. And, despite this term sharing for convenience, the different factions and their political and economic backers are expected to still wage a war of dominance in the coming days, especially with 2022 presidential elections already in the political horizon," Zarate added.
The Davao-based lawmaker also said the independence of the House of Representatives has been compromised anew with this latest development.
"With this politics of convenience and presidential intervention, the independence of the House is again severely compromised and the interest of the majority of the people sacrificed," Zarate said.
Duterte on Monday formally endorsed Taguig-Pateros Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano as the next speaker of the House of Representatives.
Cayetano will be sharing his term with Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco, while Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez will be the Majority leader.
Cayetano, a leader of the Nacionalista Party, will be speaker for 15 months, while Velasco, a member of the ruling PDP-Laban party, will serve for 21 months or until June 2022.
The President said he decided to finally speak up about the issue because it has been creating "so much uncertainty."