Paolo Duterte reverses plan to join Speaker race; endorses Ungab
MANILA, Philippines — Davao City 1st District Rep. Paolo Duterte on Saturday backed out of his plan to join the race on who will be the next Speaker of the House.
The congressman and presidential son shared that he personally talked with his father, President Rodrigo Duterte, in Davao City on his supposed desire to become the next House Speaker.
“We both agreed that this will not be the right time for me to be Speaker and I can still help his administration from the House in a different capacity,” Paolo said in a statement.
Instead, Rep. Paolo has since expressed his support to Davao City 3rd District Rep. Isidro Ungab to become House Speaker.
Ungab was previously endorsed by the regional political party Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP) led by Duterte’s sister, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte.
“As President of Hugpong sa Tawong Lungsod, I will support the bid for speakership of Congressman Isidro Ungab from our sister party, Hugpong ng Pagbabago,” Paolo added.
HNP’s endorsement for Ungab on Wednesday was considered as a surprising development since this was announced a day after Paolo expressed his intent for the speakership.
Ungab’s name is an addition to the list of aspiring House Speakers. Taguig Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano, Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco and Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez were considered as the top three contenders for the position.
Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate also expressed his bid to be the next House Speaker as leader of the opposition Makabayan bloc.
The next Speaker will be elected on July 22, when 18th Congress opens. (Editor: Jonathan P. Vicente)