(JULY 5, 2019) – Minority lawmakers on Thursday scored the proposed term-sharing principle amid the heated race to helm the House of Representatives.
“[It] is quite abnormal, out of place, and out of taste. Who told them that it (term-sharing) will be the choice of the body? It’s presumptuous,” returning Buhay Party-list Rep. Lito Atienza said in an interview with One News’ The Chiefs.
He said the proposed scheme would only benefit two lawmakers who will share the seat while members of the lower house will remain as “outsiders.”
“Eh kami ang boboto eh, bakit sila ang nag-uusap? It’s not only immoral, I would say it is impractical and destructive of the Constitution,” Atienza said.
LACK IN CONTINUITY
For his part, Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate reiterated that splitting the top House seat is not good for the institution.
“Can you imagine, three years? [Within] 15 months, 21 months, anong maitutulak mo na legislative measures diyan? Walang continuity,” he said in the same interview.
In the end, Zarate said, the speakership contest will still be ironically decided upon by the executive.
“Pinag-uusapan lang ng iilang tao kung sino ang magiging Speaker, at ‘yung members ng House eh parang pasusundin na lang. And it is true na it’s decided [upon by] Malacañang,” he added.
President Rodrigo Duterte has time and again expressed reluctance to dip into the speakership tiff, saying he is leaving the full responsibility to the Congress.
“Mabuti naman tumatanggi ang Pangulo. I’m supportive of that pero ‘pag masusunod ‘yung karamihan ng congressmen ngayon na nagsasabing si [Duterte] na ang pumili, ang pangit, hindi demokrasya iyan,” Atienza said.
PDP-Laban party president Sen. Koko Pimentel earlier announced they are now open to term-sharing as long as its bet, Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco, sits first.
Other than Velasco, contenders for the House leadership include Zarate, Taguig City-Pateros 1st District Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano, Leyte 1st District Rep. Martin Romualdez, Davao del Norte 1st District Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez, and Davao City 3rd District Rep. Isidro Ungab.