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Velasco ally chides newly formed Cayetano group
Deputy Speaker Bernadette Herrera, a close ally of Velasco, sees no problem with the creation of another bloc in the House, but pointed out that this is counterproductive, especially when the country is dealing with the pandemic.
Facebook/Lord Allan Jay Velasco

Velasco ally chides newly formed Cayetano group

Delon Porcalla (The Philippine Star) - January 15, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — A trusted ally of Speaker Lord Allan Velasco lashed back at the camp of ousted speaker Alan Peter Cayetano who recently formed a purported “independent majority bloc” named after BTS – currently the world’s most popular Korean millennial boy band.

“I wish them good luck, and a piece of advice – don’t ride on BTS popularity because it might connote a different meaning fitting of what they attempt to do – Bitter Talaga Sila,” Senior Deputy Speaker Doy Leachon texted House reporters yesterday via Viber.

To which the 50-year-old Cayetano retorted, saying “we’re not bitter, we’re actually better” during the group’s launching at a restaurant in Quezon City.

Cayetano was joined in BTS by former House deputy speakers LRay Villafuerte, Raneo Abu and Dan Fernandez as well as by Reps. Mike Defensor, Jonathan Sy-Alvarado and Fred Castro who failed to make it to the event.

“These people are ungrateful. The Speaker didn’t even touch their bloated budget in the GAA (General Appropriations Act) 2021 which former speaker Cayetano initially inserted and crafted,” Leachon, who represents Oriental Mindoro, pointed out.

Cayetano claimed they didn’t name their group just to catch everybody’s attention, insisting that BTS stands for “Back To Service” or inversely, “Bayanihan, Tapang at Serbisyo.”

Defensor said he is allied with House Majority Leader Martin Romualdez, who sits as president of the once-powerful Lakas-CMD party which has about 32 or 36 members in the chamber, and may eventually be a force to reckon with.

Deputy Speaker Bernadette Herrera, a close ally of Velasco, sees no problem with the creation of another bloc in the House, but pointed out that this is counterproductive, especially when the country is dealing with the pandemic.

“We welcome such group since it is just natural and normal in an institution to have an alliance-building. Our only wish is that they help us instead of creating more divisiveness. Let’s help President Duterte who is now on a legacy mode,” she said.

“For the sake of our countrymen, there should be a ceasefire on such bickering in the administration coalition. This will not help our country forward, where our fellow Filipinos, especially the poorest of the poor, need all the help they can get,” Herrera said.

ALAN PETER CAYETANO LORD ALLAN VELASCO
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