If the speakership were based on qualifications alone
WHAT MATTERS MOST - Atty. Josephus B. Jimenez (The Freeman) - October 22, 2020 - 12:00am

If this were an ideal world, and if the members of the House were all men and women of wisdom, of principles and of integrity, the Speaker of the House today, would not have been either Lord Alan Jay Q Velasco nor Alan Peter S Cayetano. It would have been either Congressman Eduardo R. Gullas, Raul del Mar or in the past, should have been Pablo P. Garcia. I say this sincerely and with due respect to my former student Lord Alan Velasco and also Alan Peter Cayetano.

What should be the qualifications of the Speaker, aside from those written in the Constitution and in the statutes?  First of all, the Speaker must have complete qualifications. He must be imbued with the five  Cs: Competence, Character, Conscientiousness, Communication skills  and Caring. On competence, he or she must have mastery of the laws and complete knowledge of parliamentary procedures. He must have a wide breadth of understanding of the social, economic and political realities and challenges, not only in our country but also in our region and the global arena. He is the number four among the hierarchy of political leaders. He must demonstrate superiority of knowledge and skills. He must have wide experience not only in national, regional and local politics. He must have a full grasp of geopolitics in contemporary times. Gentlemen Gullas, del Mar and Garcia have all these.

On Character, the speaker should have the traits of a leader, visionary, strategic in his thinking and not parochial who is only interested on pork barrels for his district. He should be inspiring and inspirational, and should have the charisma that attracts other leaders to rally behind his causes and advocacies because he is credible and has had vast experience of leading people and managing organizations. He should be unifying and not divisive. He must know how to build consensus and empower teams. He must be a good model for others to emulate and the young leaders and constituencies should be magnetized by his leadership by example. It is my firm belief Congressmen Eddiegul, Raul and Noy Pabling have all these qualities. Sayang that our Congress is blinded by myopic biases so as not to see that these gentlemen are the best who could lead the lower house.

The speaker should have conscientiousness, who works hard and focuses on the legislative agenda, must motivate the committees to expedite the hearings and not spend too much time filibustering, much less conducting nasty investigations in aid of reelection, wasting the peoples' money, talking nonsense and browbeating witnesses, destroying the reputation of people who have been invited as resource persons. The speaker should lead and motivate, inspire and stand as a paragon of virtues and values. He must have excellent communication skills, verbal and non-verbal, written and spoken. He must walk his talk and must talk his walk. There must be integrity in his words and actions. And lastly, caring for the members of congress and the staff. All  these are abundant in Congressmen Eddiegul, Raul and Noy Pabling.

Cebu, today, does not have representation in the Senate, in the Cabinet and in the Supreme Court. How can this ever happen to our premier province and city? With too many high-caliber Cebuanos, why are we being sidelined under a president with Cebuano roots? This is unprecedented in our history and our leaders should meet and do something.

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