Duterte distances self from House speakership issue

Published September 30, 2020, 7:09 PM

by Argyll Cyrus Geducos

President Duterte respects the decision of members of the House of Representatives to keep Taguig Representative Alan Peter Cayetano as the Speaker of the House and will not anymore interfere with the affairs of the Lower House, Malacañang said.


Presidential spokesman Harry Roque made the statement after members of the House of Representatives voted 184-1-9, rejecting Cayetano’s offer to resign from his post as House Speaker.

In an interview with State-run PTV-4, Roque said President Duterte is aware of what happened in the Lower House and will let its members settle the matter themselves.

“Katatawag lang po sa akin ni Presidente at ang sabi po niya stay out po tayo diyan. No comment po tayo diyan (The President just called me and he told me that we’re staying out of it). That’s a purely internal affair of the House of Representatives,” he said.

“Iniwan na po ng Presidente sa kongresista ang issue kung sino ang dapat mamuno sa kanila. (The President leaves it to the members of the House of Representatives to choose their leader),” he added.

According to Roque, President Duterte respects the vote of the members of the House of Representatives, adding that the Executive will no longer meddle with their affairs.

“Nirerespeto po ng Pangulo ang naging boto ng ating mga Kongresista doon sa issue kung sino ang karapat-dapat na mamuno sa kanila (The President respects the vote of the lawmakers regarding the issue on who should lead them),” he said.

President Duterte met both Cayetano and Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco in Malacañang on Tuesday evening to settle the House leadership row between the two. 

It was reported that Duterte wanted for both lawmakers to honor the deal the President brokered for them and that Velasco was supposed to take over the role of Speaker starting October 14.

Cayetano and Velasco agreed last year to share the term for the speakership with Cayetano getting the first 15 months and Velasco the last 21 months.