It was his second consecutive night of talking with members of the House of Representatives, who will vote for their speaker and other leaders when the 18th Congress convenes on July 22.
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Alan Peter Cayetano threatens to cut senators’ term to 3 years
Jess Diaz (The Philippine Star) - July 13, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Presumptive House speaker Taguig Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano is threatening to cut the term of office of senators by half to just three years.

Cayetano made the threat on Wednesday night in a meeting with a composite group of congressmen, mostly from the ruling PDP-Laban, following criticisms by some senators against his “term extension” proposal.

It was his second consecutive night of talking with members of the House of Representatives, who will vote for their speaker and other leaders when the 18th Congress convenes on July 22.

Cayetano complained that the three-year stay in office of a House member, governor or mayor is too short.

They spend at least six months of their first year organizing and learning the ropes, devote the second year to doing their job, and start thinking of and campaigning for the next elections in their third year in office, he said.

Cayetano clarified that he was not advocating a term extension in the sense of prolonging the tenure of congressmen and local officials without an election.

He vowed to put his “political capital on the line” in pushing for a longer term for House members, mayors and governors.

Addressing his Senate critics, Cayetano, a former senator, said in a mix of English and Filipino, “If the senators do not believe that nothing much happens in three years, let us cut their term to three years… Anyway, they are saying a lawmaker can be productive in three years.”

Cayetano complained about the criticism he is receiving for his “term extension” or longer-term proposal not only from some senators but from the media as well.

He accused certain sectors of the media of inaccurately reporting his advocacy.

One senator who has criticized him is Panfilo Lacson, who used to be his friend. The two of them even held office at one time in the same building owned by the Zamoras, who are their friends, in Bonifacio Global City in Taguig.

Lacson said Cayetano was “starting on the wrong foot or delivering the wrong message.”

“It’s another way of saying goodbye to Cha-cha (Charter change) under the 18th Congress. I would say, country first before self-interest,” he said.

Cayetano, if he is elected speaker, will need the cooperation of the Senate for Cha-cha, unless, like some former House leaders, he is thinking that the House alone could do it.

On Tuesday, the presumptive speaker said he could “sell” to his former Senate colleagues a term of office of “four years without term limit or five years with term limit.”

His proposal is not much different from that approved by the House of the last Congress: four years with no term limit.

Senators did not accept it. They sat on the House version of a new constitution until the last Congress adjourned on June 4. Any new Cha-cha measure would have to be re-filed with the 18th Congress.

ALAN PETER CAYETANO SENATORIAL TERM
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