Risa to Cayetano: Decide once and for all

Senator Risa Hontiveros on Friday took a new swipe on Senator Alan Peter Cayetano for allegedly being “indecisive” on what role he wants to pursue in the upper chamber.

Cayetano had insisted on Thursday that he is part of the minority, citing that he did not vote during the election for Senate President last 25 July.

“Is Sen Alan unable to be Independent, or Majority, or Minority, stick with it, and take the consequences? Or does he want it all?” Hontiveros asked.

She added: “Of course, Sen. Alan can always say he cares about democracy, too, but his recent behavior in the CA leaves much to be desired.”

Based on traditions in Congress, those who did not vote during the election for Senate chief or House Speaker would automatically be part of the minority bloc.

Cayetano, however, said he will not be part of the minority and will be independent along with his sister, Senator Pia Cayetano.

Hontiveros denied Cayetano’s claim that she is only after the minority leader post in the Commission on Appointments – a position that was awarded to Cayetano during the body’s first plenary session.

Check and balance

“I insist that it is not about gaining a position. This is about upholding principles of checks and balances where a true minority is essential in maintaining and strengthening democracy,” she said.

“Consistency builds trust, not only for public servants but also our institutions,” she added.

Hontiveros said she agrees with Cayetano that the minority is not an exclusive club, saying, “We always welcome people who have compassion for the Philippines”.

“And please, let’s leave feeble arguments about cults and colors to the wild, wild, west of troll armies and bots where they belong,” she said in response to Cayetano’s remarks that she is part of the “kulto ng dilawan.”

Meanwhile, Senate Minority Leader Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III said Cayetano was declared a member of the majority bloc based on the communication of the Senate to the CA.

In a virtual media briefing, Pimentel said Cayetano was listed under the majority bloc, leaving Hontiveros as the only member of the minority in the body. Hence, the position should have been given to her.

“I saw the communication of the Senate, and Senator Risa Hontiveros has a factual basis for saying that she is the only member of the minority of the Senate in the CA,” he said.

Cayetano was nominated CA minority leader by GP Party-list Rep. Jose Padiernos.

Hontiveros earlier said she would not recognize Cayetano as the body’s minority leader, arguing that the process of his election was wrong since he is not part of the minority bloc.

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