Philippines: Duterte, Sara won’t meddle in fight for speakership

  • Duterte, who is attending a Nikkei economic forum, met with incoming Taguig City Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano, Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco and Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez. Sources in Tokyo said the President did not make any commitment to Velasco, Romualdez and Cayetano, who were obviously soliciting his endorsement for their quest for the top House post.
  • In the absence of an endorsement by President Duterte or his daughter by proxy, the race for the speakership at the House of Representatives will weed out any pretenders to the post, a House leader said on 2 Jun 19.
  • Majority Leader Fredenil Castro welcomed the pronouncements of both the President and his daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, that neither would intervene in the battle for House leadership when the 18th Congress opens in Jul 19.
  • “With this decision of the President and Davao mayor, the selection of the next Speaker will be genuine, democratic and free, as it will reflect and demonstrate in no uncertain terms the real choice of the majority members and minority members as well,” he said in a text message.
  • He said Congress needed a Speaker who was truly supportive of the Duterte administration—not those who faked their allegiance in the hope of getting a presidential anointment.
  • Incoming Pangasinan Rep. Ramon Guico III of the province’s fifth district also revealed his party Lakas-CMD already had a manifesto of support for Romualdez, their party member.
  • Meanwhile, insiders revealed at least 156 members of the House have expressed their preference and support for Romualdez.
  • Re-elected Rep. Jericho Nograles of party-list Puwersa ng Bayaning Atleta, for his part, said the 54-strong Party-List Coalition Foundation (PCFI) will be a force to reckon with in the speakership race because they will be voting as a bloc.
  • Nograles said their group now constitutes the second biggest political bloc in the House, next to the ruling and dominant PDP-Laban party.
  • Out of the 302 incoming members of the 18th Congress, 95 are from PDP-Laban, 54 are from PCFI, 37 from the Nacionalista Party, 33 from the Nationalist People’s Coalition, 28 from the National Unity Party.
  • Eighteen from the once powerful Liberal Party, five from Lakas-CMD, six from the militant left-wing Makabayan bloc, while the remaining 16 belong to various political parties, some of whom are independents.
  • The new Speaker will be chosen in an election at the opening of the 18th Congress on 22 Jul 19, coinciding with the President’s State of the Nation Address.
  • Incoming lawmakers would need to set politics aside and cross party lines to ensure passage of key economic reforms in the next three years, one of the top contenders for speakership said on 2 Jun 19.
  • The next Speaker will replace Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, whose term is expiring.

External Link: https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1126003/duterte-sara-wont-meddle-in-fight-for-speakership

External Link: https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2019/05/31/1922445/may-best-man-win-duterte-meets-speakers

3-Jun-2019


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