Paolo Duterte sets sights on House speakership
MANILA, Philippines – After earlier declaring that he is not keen on becoming speaker of the House of Representatives, presidential son and Davao City 1st District Rep. Paolo Duterte suddenly had a change of heart and said he is open to vying for the speakership.
In a statement, the presidential son said he changed his mind because of talks of “term sharing” being “obsessively pushed by Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano,” one of the leading speakership aspirants.
“The House is divided, I might be able to help unite it. Pareho lang kaming binoto ng mga tao ah. Kung term sharing, term sharing na kaming lahat,” he said on Tuesday.
He is proposing that the Speaker of the House post be shared by representatives from Luzon, Visayas, Mindanao and the party-list groups.
“I will ask the Visayas bloc to elect their speaker for their term share, and so with the Mindanao bloc and the party-list coalition,” he explained.
“We are not talking about two persons here. We are talking about our beloved country. It is not about speakership alone, but who is the right person to unite Congress and I hope those running for the speakership stop influencing the Cabinet,” he added.
President Duterte on Thursday said that Cayetano agreed to serve as the leader of the House of Representatives for 15 months and will be succeeded by Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco for 21 months.
Velasco, however, supposedly backed out of the deal at the “last minute”, Duterte said.
The President also previously vowed to resign if Paolo becomes speaker.
“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 before newly-appointed government officials at Malacañang Palace.
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