ByWilliam Casis | Contributing Editor
Davao City First Rep. Paolo “Pulong” Duterte will not get any support from the political parties of his father President Rodrigo Duterte and his sister Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio when he tries for the House Speaker.
The President even vowed to resign his post if the newly-elected member of the House pursue his plan to join the run for speakership.
Senator-elect Christopher “Bong” Go stressed he believes the President would keep his promise to quit the presidency.
Go’s statement was contrary to the pronouncement of presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo that the President might change his stance on the issue.
Go said he knows the President more than Panelo since he was with him throughout Duterte’s political career, starting as Davao City Mayor. He asserted that the President has one word. “He would stick to what he said and make good his promise.”
On the other hand, Duterte’s Partido ng Demokratikong Pilipino (PDP-Laban) where he is chairman, is supporting Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco for speaker.
Also, PDP-Laban President Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III said the ruling party would not back up Pulong.
“For as long as there are PDP-Laban members aspiring to be House speaker and they are well qualified to be one, then PDP-Laban members should and must first consider supporting their party mate,” stressed Pimentel.
Pulong, he said, is not a PDP-Laban member.
PDP spokesperson Ron Munsayac said they have not yet consulted the Party leadership about this issue but they respect Paolo Duterte’s decision to join the speakership race.
“Just like any elected representative of the House, he can aspire for the top post of the House of Representative,” he said.
Munsayac acknowledged though that Pulong has vast experience in the legislative arena, having served as vice-mayor of the country’s largest city.
The ruling party met on June 3 to consult with their party mates in the House.
“Rest assured that the ruling party, the party of the President, the PDP-Laban, will move as one,” he further stated.
Sara, one of the founders of Hukpong ng Pagbago (HNP) said she was also surprised with her brother’s latest decision.
HNP spokesperson Jeffry Tupaz said after Tuesday midnight, the Party will not support the Pulong’s plan to join the speakership race in the House.
Instead, the HNP is endorsing the bid of Rep. Isidro Ungab for House Speaker.
Ungab, a four-term congressman, is the only lawmaker to hold the chairmanships of both Ways and Means and Appropriations Committees.
Tupaz also revealed that the regional party, which strongly campaigned for the senatorial run of administration-backed candidates, is taking neither Pulong’s nor Velasco’s side.
Velasco, a member of the ruling PDP-Laban and a very close friend of Sara, also helped in the campaign of the HNP-backed senatorial candidates in the last mid-term elections. He was its emcee in the election campaign sorties nationwide.
“HNP, with its three incumbent Congressmen from Davao Region, has been patiently observing the developments in the House of Representatives,” said Tupaz.
“We understand if President Duterte, because of delicadeza, will not accept the intent of our brother from Hugpong sa Tawong Lungsod, Congressman Paolo Duterte, to resolve the conflict among candidates,” also said HNP.
The President vowed to resign if his son, who served as Davao City vice-mayor, runs for the fourth highest position in the country.
In a statement, the presidential son said he might run for the speakership in the House in the coming 18th Congress.
The presidential son has previously said he has no interest in the position but changed his heart because of talks of “term sharing” being obsessively pushed by Taguig Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano.
Stressing that the House is divided over the matter of speakership, the young Duterte said “I might be able to help unite it. “
“We were both voted by the people. If (it’s) term sharing, we all do term sharing,” said the presidential son who quit as Davao City’s vice-mayor after his name was dragged into the illicit drug trade operations.
The former Davao City vice-mayor is proposing that the House speakership be shared by representatives from Mindanao, Visayas, Luzon, and the partylist groups.
“I will ask the Visayas bloc to elect their speaker for their term share, and so with the Mindanao bloc and the partylist coalition,” he 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 further said.
Pampanga 3rd District Rep. Aurelio Gonzales Jr. said no other House member would dare to contest the presidential son in the speakership race.
He surmised the House will deliver a landslide win for Pulong as nobody would contest the post.
“All the coalition parties will join him, we are for Pulong Duterte for Speaker,” Gonzales said. He said more than 200 chamber members would surely back the President’s eldest son.
Albay 2nd District Rep. Joey Salceda meanwhile said even Speaker aspirant Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez would give way to the younger Duterte.
“Paolo will get 300 and no need to share term. Surely, Martin will give way. The long and short of it: It’s still the President who will wield the sword,” posted Salceda on his Facebook Account.
Gonzales and Salceda are both PDP-Laban members.
However, Salceda has signified his support for Romualdez instead of Velasco.