Paolo Duterte as House Speaker? Only President can answer, sister Sara says

ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 21 2019 10:27 PM | Updated as of May 21 2019 11:57 PM

Duterte Carpio: Alvarez 'very dangerous, Machiavellian'

MANILA (3rd UPDATE) — Will Congressman-elect Paolo Duterte aim for the speakership of the House of Representatives? The answer is up to their father, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte Carpio said Tuesday.

"The question on the interest of Cong-elect Paolo Duterte to vye (sic) for Speaker of the HOR should best be addressed by our father because he is the President and our patriarch," Duterte-Carpio said in a statement.

A former Davao City vice mayor, Paolo Duterte was elected to represent the first district of Davao City in the lower house.

Duterte-Carpio added that she is not the right person to endorse whomever as the next Speaker.

"I only have a personal bet but do not intend to influence Congress. It is best if the newly elected members of the House of Representatives individually decide who among those who are interested to become the next Speaker can truly bring good governance and positive change to congress, to the Filipino people, and to our country," Duterte-Carpio said.

She also denied reports she endorsed Rep. Martin Romualdez as the next Speaker.

"If I did raise his hand during the HNP (Hugpong ng Pagbabago) rally in Tacloban, I did so because he, just like Rep. Lord Allan Velasco, is supportive of the reform agenda of President Duterte," Duterte-Carpio said.

In March, Duterte-Carpio "introduced" Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco as the next Speaker, a day after she said Romualdez will get the post.

'Veiled threat'

According to Duterte-Carpio, Congressman-elect Alan Peter Cayetano did not seek her endorsement, but the former foreign affairs secretary allegedly warned her against endorsing Velasco.

"Cong-elect Alan Peter Cayetano was correct when he said that he did not seek for my endorsement when he came to Davao to talk to me sometime last year. He, however, came with a veiled threat, that if I endorse Rep. Velasco for Speaker, I would break up the "group." And this, he said, will affect the presidential elections of 2022," Duterte-Carpio said.

In a text message to ABS-CBN News, Cayetano's camp said they have no statement yet on the issue.

Velasco is currently a member of the PDP-Laban, in which Davao del Norte 1st district Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez serves as secretary-general.

Romualdez, meanwhile, is a stalwart of the LAKAS-CMD, the ruling party when Arroyo was president.

Cayetano is with the Nacionalista Party (NP).

In a statement last March, National Unity Party (NUP) chairman Ronaldo Puno said they could back Cayetano while stressing it is in a coalition agreement with Duterte-Carpio's Hugpong ng Pagbabago.

The PDP-Laban, Nationalist People's Coalition, NUP and NP are expected to remain the top parties in the Lower House in the 18th Congress.

Duterte-Carpio nixes reconciliation with Alvarez

Meanwhile, Duterte-Carpio said she will not accept Alvarez' offer of reconciliation because it was "deceiving" and "utterly lacked sincerity."

"Unknown to him, he was surreptitiously videotaped when he threatened, after his win in the recent elections in Davao del Norte, 'Ipapahiya ko si Sara.' Alvarez was and he remains to be a very dangerous, Machiavellian individual who does not deserve peace," she stressed.

Alvarez made the offer in his speech last week after he won a second term and thanked President Rodrigo Duterte and his daughter for ensuring peaceful elections in their region.

Alvarez, in a text message to ABS-CBN News, declined to comment on Duterte-Carpio's statement.

In 2018, Duterte said his daughter had a hand in ousting Alvarez as Speaker.

Alvarez was later replaced by Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Alvarez has said he is interested in the speakership again.

--Report from RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News