SIMPLY DEFINED, democracy is a game of numbers. He, who has the numbers, rules. Put another way, majority rules; super majority rules even more. In such a political setting, the minority is merely a dot in the universe and has little or no gravity at all. The supermajority can be likened to a blackhole; nothing escapes from it.
Add capitalism to the broth, in which the golden rule is perverted pragmatism rather than moral principle– he who has the gold, rules — then you have a toxic , political brew called the battle for speakership.
This is what scandalously embroils the House of Representatives (HOR), which sounds like the oldest professional , with the speakership feud between congressmen who, strangely enough, share a similar first name: Alan.
Having similar first name isn’t the only thing they have in common: they had signed an honorable agreement not too long ago to split the speakership between them with no less than the President himself brokering it. Non- interference, a rose by another name.
It looked like the deal was Solomonic. It wasn’t. Or will never be, as things are what they seem to be, more than a year since.
The Greek philosopher Heraclitus said, you don’t step in the same river twice. Lord Allan has since validated this truism , to his lamentations. Speaker Alan Peter isn’t ready to hand over the speakership to him, much less on a silver platter,as agreed. The reason: Lord Allan Velasco, doesn’t have the numbers. Period, plain and simple.
To proof of the pudding is in the eating. Speaker Cayetano went through the motion of it. He offered to resign and, in a moro-moro, members of the HOR were asked either approve or reject it. Of course, the result was a foregone conclusion. Or, predesigned. Cayetano stayed and Velasco was left holding the bag.
To further strengthen his hold, or stranglehold, on the Speakership, Cayetano made the HOR passed the 2021 budget on second reading — should be on third reading, Constitutionalist cry–, and suspended the HOR’s ( sounds even more like it ) session until November 16 this year, way, way beyond the supposed turnover of the gavel to Velasco on October 14.
How did this happen?
Two things: One, the universal maxim is that things happen for a reason. Two, morality always lies on the side of the heavier side of artillery as Napoleon Bonaparte found out. There’s also a third: money talks and, in a democracy, money is defined as speech, free and flowing.
Could Cayetano have achieved the feat by himself alone? One popular ad I remember cited three things needed to commit a crime: 1) a compelling motive, 2) find an accomplice and 3) cover your tracks.
Using this template, we have a perfect crime going on in the HOR political ecosystem.
Cayetano is more or less empowered to be where he right now and he dunks it, to use a basketball methaphor.Who can possibly be the powerful enabler? Your guess is as good as anybody’s .
In the meantime, the prime mover of the term-sharing agreement between the two Alans is unusually mum on the speakership row. The President’s infamous spokesperson is telling all and sundry that his principal is adhering to the principle of separation of powers, of non-interference in the affairs, dismal or otherwise, of the other branches of government.
Of course, it’s a bunch of malarkey. His boss is the author of the original sin that has made somebody felt godlike in his demeanor in the HOR ever since the sordid ABS-CBN shutdown. The two Alans were tempted to bite off the forbidden fruit, and look who’s chomped off the bigger chunk, if not the whole thing?
‘Oh what a tangled web we weave when at first we practise to deceive’, warned the Scottish poet-novelist Sir Walter Scott. Someone hither and yon is the victim of a marketing scheme known as bait -and- switch. And politicians are supposed to be well aware of caveat emptor.
At the very least, the likelihood is that the budget for 2021 will not be passed on time, rued Senate President Tito Sotto who probably wrings his fingers in helplessness and frustration. Or, it will be passed with questionable insertions in it. With the country try still reeling under the pandemic yoke, the alternative is equally worse: a reenacted budget.
After all has been said and done, when the smoke of battle is cleared, Cayetano still has the upper hand, showing Velasco and his small clique that they still need to eat more rice. And no one is laughing but the devil.
Wary pundits and politicians suspect Cayetano’s passion to become the next president of the Philippines could be the driving force behind the HOR roadshow. And it’s look more like a conspiracy affair of consenting adults.
Cayetano loves to quote Jeremiah 29:11: For a I know the thoughts that I think toward you , says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil,to give you a hope and a future.
He may want to consider Jeremiah 50:38: And they are insane wtheir idols.
In Greek mythology, comeuppance usually follows hubris.