Former Speaker Cayetano seeks return to Senate

Former Speaker Cayetano seeks return to Senate
“There is a time and a season for every activity under the heavens,” Cayetano wrote, quoting the third chapter of the book of Ecclesiastes in the Bible.
Alan Peter Cayetano on Facebook

MANILA, Philippines — Former House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano has confirmed his bid for a second stint in the Senate in the 2022 elections.

As he filed his certificate of candidacy, the Taguig 1st District congressman vowed a "faith-based, values-oriented, [and] inclusive" leadership that "heals, builds communities, and transcends regionalism." 

"My colleagues and I are working hard to craft an economic recovery plan that will span not just one year, as has been the usual practice, but five years — enough to see the Philippines well into recovery," he said in a statement.

Cayetano was a senator from 2007 to 2017 before President Rodrigo Duterte, his former running mate in 2016, appointed him foreign affairs secretary. 

He was elected Taguig congressman in 2019 and brokered a term-sharing deal with Rep. Lord Allan Velasco before he led the House for 15 months. He attempted to extend his term once his time elapsed, prompting lawmakers to elect Velasco to his post. 

Under Cayetano's speakership, the House of Representatives passed two stimulus packages, namely the Bayanihan 1 and 2, to offer aid to Filipinos at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. 

Duterte's losing vice-presidential running mate, who has experience as councilor, vice mayor, congressman, and foreign affairs chief, historically voted in favor of the chief executive's decisions in the lower chamber. 

It was also under Cayetano, for instance, that lawmakers voted to kill the franchise application of embattled broadcast giant ABS-CBN Corp., effectively leaving over 11,000 jobless in the middle of the coronavirus-induced community quarantines.

In the aftermath of ABS-CBN's shutdown, Cayetano — who has four relatives holding elected positions in government — justified the move by claiming it was meant to "reclaim patrimony from the oligarchs." 

Though he did not mention how he planned to do so, Cayetano said he would "fight to transform" key issues in the country, including:

  • "Vicious cycle of corruption to virtuous cycle of good governance; 
  • VIP mentality to Everyone is a VIP; 
  • Selfish consumption to stewardship of God’s resources; 
  • Rapid urbanization to sustainable rural-urban living; 
  • Finding good jobs abroad to creating great jobs at home;
  • Survival wages to living wages; and
  • Wealth for a few to upward"

Cayetano made much of the same promises when he ran with Duterte in 2016, especially those concerning the labor sector.

With just a year left in Duterte's term, though, "endo," an illegal short-term employment scheme, and contractualization, are still very much prevalent. 

Like most of his counterparts looking to run in 2022, Cayetano also vowed to focus on health and the economy, particularly for Filipino families and small families whom he described as being "in need of a lifeline."

But it was also under Cayetano's leadership that the Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee saw allegations of corruption hurled its way during the 2019 SEA Games. 

Cayetano earlier said he was "seriously considering" running for president but took this back in an interview aired over DZRH on October 1. 




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