Go: Duterte could have skipped Sona if Speakership row wasn’t resolved
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte earlier threatened not to attend his fourth State of the Nation Address (Sona) if the House of Representatives did not settle the Speakership issue, Senator Christopher “Bong” Go revealed Monday.
Go said the President admitted this when he was practicing for his Sona on Sunday evening.
“Sabi ni Pangulong Duterte, ayaw na po niyang maulit ‘yung nakaraang taon na natagalan po yung Sona. It was delayed for an hour,” Go told reporters in an interview.
Last year, House members staged a coup to remove then Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez and elect Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo as the new Speaker.
“Kung magkakagulo pa rin at walang maayos na Kongreso at wala silang pipiliing Speaker at magulo tulad noong nangyari noong nakaraang taon, sabi niya hindi na lang sya pupunta. Magpapahinga na lang daw siya sa bahay,” the senator said.
It looks like the President will attend the Sona after all as lawmakers elected Taguig-Pateros Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano as Speaker.
Duterte earlier endorsed Cayetano, his former Foreign Affairs Secretary, for a 15-month term as Speaker. Cayetano will be sharing his term with Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco, who was the bet of the President’s party the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban). /jpv
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