“THE EMPEROR has no clothes. Even if he continues to act as Speaker, the body does not follow him [anymore]. Sir, hindi na po kayo ang Speaker.”
So spake Seputy Speaker and Pampanga 4th District Rep. Juan Pablo “Rimpy” Bondoc Tuesday hours ahead of the House special session called by President Duterte with the embattled Taguig Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano still insisting he remained as Speaker.
“I have seen many speakership battles. The opposing camp that doesn’t have the numbers have graciously accepted it and found a way to work with the majority. Let us put off the charade and work for the Filipino people,” said the multiple termed congressman.
On Monday, Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco waselected as the new Speaker by a majority vote of 186 House members in an informal session at the Celebrity Sports Plaza in Quezon City.
Cayetano called Velasco’s election “fake,” saying the proceedings were conducted “illegally” outside the Batasang Pambansa.
His camp promptly came out with a “manifesto” of support for him purportedly signed by a total of 200 representatives. Two lawmakers—Maguindanao’s Esmael Mangudadatu and Zamboanga Del Sur’s Divina Grace Yu—whose signatures appeared on the manifesto as promptly denied having signed it.
“It was a bad breakup. Let us all be adults here,” Bondoc said.
Of the disparity in numbers, Bondoc said: “There are 186, and 120 were physically present. There are many others who told me they would have voted to [for Velasco] if they had a chance. We will release [the list of those who voted for Velasco].”
Which has come now to be moot, with Cayetano tendering his “irrevocable resignation as the speaker of the House of the Republic of the Philippines” on Facebook Live Tuesday.
As much moot, alas, was Cayetano’s resignation itself – coming as it is after being already veritably and ignominiously ousted from his seat.
In Cayetano, the emperor had no clothes, indeed. Shedding all of them in his naked attempt to hold on to power. Personal honor and public welfare be damned.