Duterte, Pacquiao to meet Thursday to discuss PDP-Laban bet for Speaker
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte will meet with Sen. Manny Pacquiao on Thursday to talk about the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino–Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) candidate for House Speaker in the upcoming 18th Congress.
Duterte’s trusted aide and incoming Sen. Christopher “Bong” Go in a text message said Pacquiao wanted “to discuss PDP’s choice for speakership” with Duterte.
Go said Duterte and Pacquiao will meet on Thursday in General Santos City before the senator leaves for the United States on Saturday for his boxing match.
Duterte will be in General Santos City on Thursday afternoon to distribute certificate of land ownership to agrarian reform beneficiaries in the region.
Pacquiao is the national campaign manager of the ruling party in the May 2019 midterm elections.
The PDP-Laban’s three aspirants for speakership — reelected Representatives Lord Allan Velasco of Marinduque, Aurelio Gonzales Jr. of Pampanga, and Pantaleon Alvarez of Davao del Norte — met on Tuesday night at the Forbes Park residence of Pacquiao.
Pacquiao and Sen. Aquilino Pimentel III served as the mediator but the party failed to choose its candidate.
Pimentel, PDP-Laban president, said he has designated Pacquiao to announce the party’s choice for House Speaker.
In a Palace briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Salavador Panelo reiterated that “the President will not interfere” in the Speakership race.
“He never endorsed. What they should do, I think, the PDP-Laban, what they should do is to have a secret balloting and get the sentiments of the members. Who gets the highest, then that will be their bet,” Panelo said. (Editor: Julie Espinosa)
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