FIRST district representative Paolo "Pulong" Duterte has proposed that the speaker of the house post 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 in a statement yesterday.
“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,” Duterte said.
In the same press statement on Tuesday, July 2, Duterte said he changed his mind after talking to Congressman Alan Peter Cayetano, who is pushing for “term sharing.”
“Moapil na ko pagka-speaker,” Duterte said.
“The house is divided. I might be able to help unite it. Pareho lang kaming binoto ng mga tao ah. Kung term sharing, term sharing na kaming lahat, (We are all voted by the people. If they want term sharing, then term sharing it is),” the presidential son said.
Duterte on Sunday appealed to the aspirants of the Speakership to spare him from draggin his name into the House Speakership issue.
“Pakiusap lang po. Kung sino man ang gusto na idamay ako sa usapin ng speakership sa House of Representatives — huwag po ninyo akong gamitin. Huwag po ang pangalan ko. Ilabas po ninyo ako sa inyong marumi, mapanghamak, bastos, at nakakawala ng respeto na uri ng pulitika,” he said.
He also urged fellow congressmen to carefully choose who will sit as House Speaker.
Contenders for the post include PDP-Laban candidate Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco, Davao del Norte First District Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez, and Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez.
Voting will be conducted when the 18th Congress opens on July 22.
Meanwhile, Davao City third district representative Isidro Ungab told Sunstar Davao that Pulong's possible candidacy will break the "stalemate as to who will be the next Speaker."
"I believe that the entry of Cong. Paolo will break the impasse and the sooner we elect a new Speaker, the better," Ungab said.
The congressman also said "all the Davao Region and Mindanao Congressmen will surely rally behind Cong Paolo if he decides to join the Speakership race".
He said Pulong will help pass the President's 10-point agenda, including in the economic and finance measures to hasten the growth of the country and reduce poverty as the Duterte administration is down to its last three years in term.
Newly-elected council floor leader Melchor Quitain Jr. also see Duterte as a qualified House Speaker since he has a wide political experience starting as Catalunan Grande barangay captain in 2007.
“Personally he is a good contender. He did not become a congressman overnight. He has a work experience. He knows the problem in the community as low as the barangay,” Quitain said. (RGL/With SunStar Philippines)