Duterte meets with 3 contenders for House leader

Rodrigo “Rody” Duterte and Martin Romualdez
HAPPY TOGETHER. President Rodrigo “Rody” Duterte gamely poses for a selfie with Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez in Japan. Romualdez, one of the frontrunners in the speakership race and president of the Philippine Constitution Association (Philconsa), is part of the President’s official delegation.

PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte met in Tokyo on Wednesday with three lawmakers seeking the House speakership.

The President met with incoming Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez, Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco, and incoming Taguig Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano.

Photos shared by Senator-elect Christopher “Bong” Go showed the three smiling as they posed with the President.

Go, who is the President’s trusted aide, said the President did not want to meddle in the House speakership race.

“Ayaw sana makialam ng Pangulo kasi parehong magagaling na mambabatas. Pero nag-kasundo ang tatlo na pag-isipan muna sana ng Pangulo para maka-trabaho na ang Kongreso pag-umpisa ng kanilang termino,” he said.

According to House Minority Leader and Quezon Rep. Danny Suarez Romualdez is the strongest among the contenders for the speakership which include former Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez.

Suarez said 153 House members have already signed a manifesto of support for Romualdez.

The “magic number” is enough to place the Leyte congressman in the top House post, Suarez said.