Pres. Duterte’s Bet For Speaker Known By June 28

President Rodrigo Duterte is asking the ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) to give him until June 28 to decide on a contender to endorse as the next Speaker of the House of Representatives.

Senator-elect and former Special Assistant to the President Christopher “Bong” Go said Duterte bared this during a dinner attended by incoming congressmen which was hosted by presidential son and Davao congressman-elect Paolo Duterte at Malacañang on Tuesday (June 18) night.

“Humihingi si Pangulong Duterte up to June 28, kung gusto nila na si Pangulo, kung mas nanaisin ni Pangulo na hindi na po siya ang pumili (President Duterte had asked to give him until June 28, if they want the President, but the President would rather not have to choose),” Go said in a chance interview with reporters.

Earlier, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the President will not “meddle” on the selection of the next House Speaker.

“Ang stand ni Presidente doon ay (the stand of the President there is) ‘may the best man win,’” Panelo said in an interview over DZRH on Wednesday.

Panelo explained that the President would rather not interfere since most of the contenders for House Speaker are his allies.

“‘Yung lahat ng mga nagtutunggalian doon ay puro niya naman kaalyado eh, so, mas tama ‘yung kaniyang posisyon na bahala na muna kayo (All those competing are his allies and his position not to interfere makes sense),” Panelo said.

He further said Duterte preferred not to endorse anyone for Speaker because it could cause unnecessary conflict among them.

Moreover, Panelo said it does not matter to the President whether the next House Speaker would still be from the PDP-Laban.

Among the PDP-Laban members who are eyeing the post are Pampanga Rep. Aurelio Gonzales, Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco, and former Speaker and reelected Davao del Norte Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez, who is seeking to reclaim the House speakership that he lost during a coup last year.

The contenders outside PDP-Laban are Leyte congressman-elect Martin Romualdez of Lakas-CMD (Christian Muslim Democrats) and Taguig congressman-elect Alan Peter Cayetano of Nacionalista Party. (PNA)

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