What happened in Duterte's Palace meeting with solons?

Published November 17, 2021, 11:54 AM

by Ellson Quismorio

President Duterte met with several lawmakers in Malacañang on Tuesday night, Nov. 16, Cabinet Secretary and Acting Presidential Spokesperson Karlo Nograles has confirmed.


“It was an informal and relaxed gathering with lawmakers, many of whom are friends of the President dating back to his days as mayor of Davao City,” Nograles said in a statement Wednesday, Nov. 17.

“It was, for the President, an opportunity to see friends he had not personally seen since the onset of the pandemic due to the restrictions that had been put in place,” Nograles noted.

“With active COVID-19 (coronavirus disease) cases now on a steady decline and now that we are feeling the positive impact of the government’s vaccination, we expect the President to join similar gatherings with friends and allies in the future,” he further said.

Although the statement didn’t specify, reports reaching the Manila Bulletin said that the Chief Executive met with members of the House of Representatives.

Curiously, earlier Monday, rumors of a coup d’etat or planned unseating of House Speaker Lord Alan Velasco swirled in the chamber.

The rumors were loud enough that House Majority Leader Ferdinand Martin Romualdez, Velasco’s right-hand man, felt the need to respond via press release that same day.

“I don’t know where all these talks are coming from…I have no intention to effect any leadership change, especially the speakership. I am man of honor, and I fully abide with the gentlemen’s agreement forged in front of President Duterte in 2019,” Romualdez said.

“Such idea has not even crossed my mind. These coup rumors have been going on since 2019 and to this day, there has been no evidence of one being hatched,” he noted.

Romualdez said his focus now is to give presidential daugther, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte a solid base for her vice presidential bid in May 2022.

Romualdez sits as president of the Lakas-CMD (Christian Muslim Democrats), which Duterte-Carpio recently joined.