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Calling Senator Risa Hontiveros a “dilawan,” Senator Alan Peter Cayetano exchanged tirades with the lady senator in a press conference on Friday.
Hontiveros and Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Koko Pimentel are in the minority bloc while Sen. Alan Peter with sibling Senator Pilar Pia Hontiveros labeled themselves as an independent bloc.
The exchange of heated arguments ensued after Hontiveros said she was not recognizing Cayetano, who was appointed to the Commission on Appointments as minority leader.
Hontiveros said there is no way that Cayetano should be appointed to the position considering that he is not a member of the minority bloc.
Cayetano stood against Hontiveros saying the lady senator was actually raising this nonsense issue because she is very interested in the position which she was able to get.
Cayetano said he cannot understand the argument of Hontiveros and questioned her priorities — ro serve the people as a legislator or to aim for the position.
“Hindi pwedeng majority tayo, tapos bigla minority tayo sa iba’t ibang panahon para sa ibat ibang layunin. It is important to have clarity. We need to have an accountability and a genuine minority voice,” Hontiveros said.
However, Cayetano reminded Hontiveros that although he did not join her and Pimentel, he is still considered a minority member because he did not vote for Senate President Miguel Zubiri as Senate chief.
“Technically I am still a member of the minority bloc,” Cayetano explained.
As part of the existing rules in the Senate, the majority and minority blocs are determined by those who voted for the sitting Senate President.
Cayetano said he opted not to join Hontiveros and Pimentel because of some disagreement with them on various issues.
The senator from Taguig said there is no point why he cannot be qualified to become the minority chief in the powerful CA considering his experience and qualifications for the post.
“Pag hindi ka nakasama sa kanila, mali ka na at sila lang ang parating tama. I can do a good job. Botohan naman lang ang nangyari. Kasalanan ko ba na walang bumoto sa kaniya?” Cayetano said.
Hontiveros maintained that lawmakers must really define the line and should not join either the minority or majority for their own purpose and personal gain saying: “We cannot have it all and it is important to define our lines.”
Cayetano said he is willing to work with his colleagues in the minority, adding Hontiveros will be invited to the CA’s caucuses. With PS Jun M. Sarmiento