Alan Peter "Companyero" Schramm Cayetano
Photo from Alan Peter Cayetano's Facebook page.
One of the three Cayetanos in the 16th Congress is now seeking the second most powerful post in the land. Will Alan Peter Cayetano win the Vice-Presidency?
The son of the late politician, Renato "Compañero" Cayetano, Alan Cayetano slowly inched his way to the upper strata of politics; beginning when he became a councilor of the then-municipality of Taguig at age 21. But even as a political science student at the University of the Philippines (UP), Cayetano had already displayed his political aptitude by winning a seat in UP’s student council.
In his website, Cayetano is frequently branded as "the youngest" in the positions he has won. He was the youngest councilor, the youngest vice-mayor, the youngest representative in the 11th Congress, and the youngest chairperson of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee. According to his team, Cayetano’s early start and subsequent long career in politics has earned him "rich and meaningful experience in public service".
This 2016, three years after getting re-elected to the Senate, he wants to be Vice President of the republic. Can Cayetano do it?
"Pitik" and peace and order
Cayetano ran in 2013 under his PTK platform — presyo, trabaho, kita (prices, jobs, income). This platform is still featured prominently in his website, as he runs for higher office. According to Cayetano, government should allow the masses to feel the benefits of a growing economy by the reduction of prices, the creation of more and better jobs, and better income.
The centerpiece of his vice-presidential platform, however, is peace and order – reflecting his tandem with Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte. As Duterte’s running mate, Cayetano also advocates key points of the Mayor’s platform; such as reducing criminality, strengthening of the regions, and the establishment of a federal system of government.
Too many Cayetanos?
While the same could be said about other candidates (e.g., Bongbong Marcos), Alan Cayetano is hounded by criticisms concerning his family's political dynasty. Two of his siblings are members of the 16th Congress, and his wife, Lani, is the mayor of Taguig City. Cayetano has countered by saying that while many members of his immediate family hold various public offices, they are doing their job well.
While there might be truth to this, evidenced by Cayetano's reelection into the Senate, perhaps a more formidable obstacle is his current low ranking in the pre-election surveys. Whether Cayetano will be able to attract more voters come Election Day is a question that will only be answered this May.