Duterte wrestling with choice for speaker

Rodrigo Duterte

PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte is having a hard time choosing the next Speaker of the House of Representatives because all the candidates are competent and allies of  the administration.

This was disclosed by Senator-elect Bong Go, adding that the President may announce his choice before the self-imposed deadline of June 28.

President Duterte was the guest of honor of Thanksgiving party of the Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP), a regional party formed and chaired by Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, on Monday night held in Makati City.

The President exchanged pleasantries with the speakership wannabes incoming Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez, Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco and Taguig City Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano.

They dined, talked at one table and were joined by outgoing House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

The HNP thanked their supporters and allies during the Thanksgiving Party.

According to Senator Go, it is possible that President Duterte may make the official announcement of his bet for speaker before June 28.

“Nahihirapan talagang pumili si President, sila kasing tatlo ay lahat competent, lahat allies, kakampi,” the former Special Assistant to the President said.

“ Sa totoo lang ayaw talagang makialam ni Presidente, kasi  magaling naman silang lahat to become a speaker kaso silang gustong pumili si Presidente,” Senator Go added.

Based on reports, more than 150 congressmen have already signed a manifesto of support for Rep. Romualdez, the president of Lakas-CMD.

On the other hand, the PDP-Laban members said that 60 of them are backing Rep.Velasco.

The Marinduque representative is a known close friend of Mayor Sara.

As for Cayetano, he has the backing of the members of the Nacionalista Party and other lawmakers from other political parties.

Sen. Go stressed the President also sees the need to choose the next speaker soon so that Congress may start planning for the opening of the 18th Congress.

“Para makapagtrabaho na sila, kasi usually nag-uusap na ang mga leaders ng committee before SONA. Nakakapagtrabaho na sila, nakapagmeeting na sila and pagusapan muna nila who will get the committees,” Sen. Go said.