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News & Interviews
15 October 2020

By Emil Jurado | Manila Standard

"Our lawmakers know too well where their bread is buttered."

The ascension of Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco as new Speaker of the House of Representatives is a good study of the kind of politics we have in the Philippines.

Santa Banana, there are so many factors why we, the people, have to undergo the kind of politics we have where there are no permanent friends or enemies, only permanent self-interest. We saw this again with the drama that unfolded at the House of Representatives, where our honorable lawmakers once agains set aside the public good.

For example, former Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano was initially able to wangle the support of some 202 House members when he resigned as Speaker. He thought their support was already etched in stone. He misread the signs and forgot that so many factors could come into play and intervene in his bid to continue his 15-month rule as Speaker.

Cayetano’s 15 months was according to the term-sharing agreement with Velasco, a deal that was brokered no less than President Duterte.

When the super-majority of the House realized that the President really wanted to uphold the agreement that would allow Velasco to take over, they also conveniently changed their minds. When Velasco and his allies convened the “rump” session a day before the President called a Special Session on October 13 to October 16, and the event was covered by the government-owned PTV4, it was an indication of the President’s hand.

Santa Banana, it also came to lawmakers’ knowledge that Velasco had dinner with presidential daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte. Recall that it was also Sara who had former Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez ousted to give way to former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

Another intervening factor was when the majority of Lakas-CMD members went for Velasco. Word got around that Sara had been calling members of the House to go for Velasco.

All of these were part and parcel of why Cayetano misread the signs. The President could not afford to be seen as someone who does not respect agreements.

Because of all these, the House members showed that their personal interest was on their minds because allocations in the 2021 national budget would need the President’s approval.

All Cayetano could do was complain and call the session at the Celebrity Sports Complex a “travesty.”

Indeed, members of the House know all too well where their bread is buttered.


The expose of a Manila daily that Supreme Court Justice Marvic Leonen prejudged the election protest of Bongbong Marcos against Vice President Leni Robredo makes for very interesting reading,

Santa Banana, this seems authentic – it had a copy of the comments of Leonen as ponente of the Presidential Electoral Tribunal’s decision.

I do know that some things that happen in the chambers of the Supreme Court are just unbelievable. In this case, shall we dare believe what is being said about Justice Leonen? He should stop being the ponente, if it is true that he has already prejudged the case.

Any prejudgment on his part will only confirm that he is an Aquino asset and a Yellow justice.

Marcos narrowly lost to Robredo in the 2016 elections. Subsequently, he filed an election protest. The case was originally assigned to Justice Benjamin Caguioa, but when he retired, Leonen took over. Leonen is an appointee of former President Noynoy Aquino,

Leonen’s sentiment against the Marcoses is well-known. Is this not bias, plain and simple? No wonder the case is not moving.


There are reports that the coronavirus can stay on currency for 28 days. I wonder if this is supported by science, or just another one of those items to make people panic. Still, since this is still something new to us, it would not hurt to take extra precaution and disinfect cash.


My family mourns the death of Inday Maestrado La Viña of Cagayan de Oro City. She was very well known in the area. She was also a good friend of my wife, so much so that when my wife visited Cagayan de Oro, Inday was always there to take her around. When Inday visited Manila, she always dropped by our house in Ecology Village in Makati.

Our condolences to the family. May Inday rest in peace.