MANILA — Newly-elected Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano on Monday called on his colleagues at the House of Representatives to “do what is right” to make the Chamber a “real House of the people.”
In his speech after being sworn in as the nation’s 22nd Speaker, Cayetano quoted Matthew 6:33 which says: “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness.”
“Regardless of our religious beliefs, of our personal circumstances, the Bible verse that started with is actually a guide and a fundamental truth,” the Taguig-Pateros lawmaker said.
“When we say ‘seek ye first the kingdom of God and its righteousness,’ we are saying ‘Let us do what is right’,” Cayetano said.
Cayetano pointed out that people love their congressmen but love to hate Congress.
He said this is a matter that lawmakers should work on to change the people’s perspective about Congress as a whole.
“This is something I asked of you: in unison let us change that because this is the House of the people. We should respect the ‘love our congressman,’ but we should also feel that the House is the House of the people,” he said.
“We will do what is right so that we will have a Congress that is relevant, responsive and reliable. United, we commit to God and our people the work of the 18th Congress,” Cayetano said.
He also thanked his peers for their trust and vowed to work hard to be “worthy” of the trust they gave him.
Cayetano, who was Duterte’s running mate in the 2016 presidential elections, asked his colleagues to help him in passing the remainder of President Rodrigo Duterte’s legislative agenda in the time that he will serve as their Speaker.
Under a term-sharing agreement approved by Duterte, Cayetano will only serve as Speaker in the first 15 months of the 18th Congress.
He will then relinquish the post to Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco, who will serve the remaining 21 months.
“Thank you for your trust, sana ako’y maging worthy (I hope I will be worthy). At sana po ay tulungan nyo ako para sa loob ng 15 buwan ay mapagsilbihan natin ang ating mga kababayan na mabuti (Please help me so that we can serve our people well in 15 months),” he said.
“At lahat po ng nasa legislative agenda, ubusin na natin at ipasa na natin. Dahil mas maganda magawa na natin ito kaagad (And everything in the legislative agenda should be passed. It would be better if we can do this as soon as possible),” Cayetano said. Jose Cielito Reganit / PNA – northboundasia.com