Paolo Duterte says he might join speakership race
Davao City 1st District Rep. Paolo Duterte said on Tuesday he might join in the speakership race at the House of Representatives.
In a statement, the presidential son said he changed heart because of talks of "term sharing" being "obsessively" pushed by Taguig City Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano.
"I'm joining in the speakership," he said.
Paolo, a neophyte congressman, earlier said he was not interested to be Speaker.
But he said the House is divided and "I might be able to help unite it."
At least four allies of President Rodrigo Duterte have been seeking for the speakership. They are Cayetano, Davao del Norte Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez, Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco, and Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez.
"If there's term sharing, all of us might as well have a term sharing," said Paolo, who earlier got irked apparently with Cayetano for dragging the wife of Velasco on the issue of term sharing.
Duterte is proposing the Speaker of the House post be shared by representatives from Mindanao, Visayas, Luzon, and 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,” Paolo said.
“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 said.
Duterte earlier said he would quit from his post if Paolo would seek the speakership.
Asked if Duterte would resign following Paolo's pronouncement of his intention to join in the speakership race, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the President could change his mind.
"The President may change his mind. Congressman Paolo Duterte can also change his mind. So let's see. Let it evolve," he said, noting that Paolo and his father were both invoking what is good for the country. Celerina Monte/DMS