Duterte: I will resign if Paolo runs to become House Speaker
Updated @ 5:54 p.m., May 27, 2019, to add more details
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday said he would resign if his son, incoming Davao City Rep. Paolo “Pulong” Duterte, would vie for the House speakership.
“Itong si Paolo, sinabi ko sa kanya: ‘If you run for speakership, let me know. Kasi kung tatakbo ka, magre-resign ako. Kasi marami na tayo. Nandyan na ang kapatid mo na mayor. So uneasy,” the President said during the oath taking of several newly appointed government officials at Malacañang Palace.
[I told Paolo: “If you run for the speakership, let me know. If you’re running, I will resign. There are so many of us in government. Your sister is a mayor. So I’m uneasy.]
Paolo’s sister is Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio.
The President said he would remain neutral on the issue of the House speakership, but he admitted that some aspiring candidates had approached him even before the elections.
On Monday, House Minority Leader Danilo Suarez pointed out that electing Paolo as the next House speaker might not sit well with the public.
“I really doubt if people will accept ang Presidente ay si Pangulong Duterte at ang speaker anak mo. Medyo marami nang magtataas ng kilay na mga tao. Siguro kung hindi Presidente ang Pangulong Digong, he may have a chance getting a crack at the leadership,” Suarez said in an interview.
[I really doubt if people will accept that the President is Duterte and the Speaker will be his son. That will raise a lot of eyebrows. Maybe if Digong is not the President, then Paolo may have a chance of getting a crack at the leadership.]
Other lawmakers whose names are being floated for the House speakership include Marinduque Rep. Lord Velasco, incoming Taguig-Pateros Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano, Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez, incoming Antique Rep. Loren Legarda, and Pampanga Rep. Aurelio Gonzales Jr.
As of posting time, the presidential son, a former Davao City vice mayor, has yet to issue an official statement on the matter.
Meanwhile, incumbent House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is on her third and final House term, which ends June 30.
(Editors: Katherine G. Adraneda and Alexander T. Magno)
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