Rep. Paolo Duterte hints of ‘coup’ when House members pick new Speaker

President Duterte on son Paolo revelation – WISHFUL THINKING


Despite President Rodrigo Duterte’s endorsement of Taguig Representative Alan Peter Cayetano, Davao City Representative Paolo Duterte believes the fight for the House speakership is far from over, and even hinted of a House coup on July 22.

In a message to reporters, Paolo said no one has formally won the speakership yet and an election would still be held on July 22, the day President Duterte will deliver his fourth State of the Nation Address and the opening of the First Regular Session of the 18th Congress.

“May election pa sa July 22 at doon ako mas interesado, kung sino ang mananalo. Kasi may bali-balita, may isa sa tatlo na balak mag-coup d’etat on the day,” Paolo said.

“Mukhang hindi pa tapos ang laban para sa kanilang tatlo at sa mga backers.”

Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said it is still up to House members to make their choice for Speaker.

“In the ultimate analysis, the vote on the Speaker would lie on the members of Congress. The only reason why the President gave that suggestion is because those who are vying for it went to him and sought his wise suggestion to settle the row between and among them,” Panelo told reporters.

Should the House members decide not to elect Cayetano as Speaker, Panelo said it would not reflect on President Duterte’s political clout.

“It’s not a reflection of the clout of the President. Because the President didn’t want to interfere in the first, didn’t wanna intrude. It’s them who somehow persuaded him to come in,” he said.

President Duterte has endorsed Cayetano, his running-mate in the 2016 elections, for Speaker, a position he is expected to share with Marinduque Representative Lord Allan Velasco.

Under the scheme, Cayetano would be the first to take the position for 15 months, and Velasco would succeed him to complete the remaining 21 months of the speakership.

Meanwhile, President Duterte said Leyte Representative Martin Romualdez, who had also expressed intention to run for Speaker, would be the House majority leader, a position that he has already accepted, according to his supporter Albay Representative Joey Salceda.

Paolo and his fellow congressmen belonging to the Duterte Coalition, on the other hand, had nominated Davao City Representative Isidro Ungab for Speaker. —with Virgil Lopez/KBK, GMA News

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