Palace on House speakership: May the best man win

Published July 3, 2019, 4:17 PM

by AJ Siytangco


By Argyll Cyrus Geducos

President Duterte will not lift a finger to settle the dispute in the House of Representatives as to its next Speaker should be, Malacañang reiterated.

Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo (OPS / MANILA BULLETIN)
Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo

Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo made the statement following the announcement of Davao City representative Paolo Duterte to run for the position despite the discouragement of his father, the President himself.

“Any candidate would want the endorsement of the President because that endorsement will carry them to the Speakership – that’s the reality,” Panelo said over DZRH.

“But the President will not do that because he doesn’t want to ruffle the feelings of those candidates because they are all allies,” he added.

“Sinasabi niya na nga na hindi siya makikialam. Labo-labo na lang kayo diyan (He said that he will not meddle. It’s up to them). May the best man win,” he continued.

According to Panelo, it does not matter to the President who will be the next Speaker of the House as long as he will stay true to his sworn duty of serving the people.

“As far as the President is concerned, okay kahit sino sa inyong manalo diyan. Dahil alam n’yo naman ang tungkulin n’yo bilang Speaker, bilang representative ng distrito ninyo at ang tungkulin n’yo ay ‘yung gagawin n’yo, ‘yung para sa bayan (it’s okay whoever wins. You know your duty as a Speaker, as the representative of your district, it’s all for the country),” he said.

President’s opinion

Meanwhile, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles, in an interview in Malacañang, sai President Duterte’s opinion on the speakership is important because he is the head of the ruling party PDP-Laban.

“The President wears many hats and one of the hats that he wears is he is the head of PDP-Laban. Because you are the ruling party, people tend to ask ano ba ang desisyon ng (what is the decision of the) party. And I think that’s where the question is, why everyone is asking the President to say what his preference is,” he said Wednesday.

“Kung ano ang sasabihin niya (Whatever he decides), then the ruling party now gets a directive from its head and then they just follow. And then because the other parties are part of the coalition, usually, they will follow the ruling party,” he added.

Leave it to the family

Nograles then said that the issue on a Duterte running for House Speaker is a matter that should be left for the first family.

“When it comes to family matters, I believe we just leave it to members of the family,” he said.

Earlier, President Duterte warned his son that he will resign if the younger Duterte will join the race for the position of House Speaker.

Duterte’s former long-time aide and now senator Bong Go earlier said that the President is serious in his warning to step down. Nograles also echoed Go’s statement.

“If we go by the words of Senator Bong Go, him knowing the President the most, it would seem that the statement of Senator Bong Go is that the President is serious,” Nograles said.