MANILA (2nd UPDATE) - President Rodrigo Duterte said Monday he would step down if his son, Davao City Rep. Paolo Duterte runs for speaker of the House of Representatives.
"Itong si Paolo, sabihin ko sa kanya if you run for speakership, let me know. Kasi kung tatakbo ka magreresign ako kasi marami na tayo. Andiyan yung kapatid mo mayor," the President said in a speech before generals in Malacañang.
(I will tell Paolo that if he runs for Speaker, I will resign because there's too many of us. Your sister is a mayor.)
The younger Duterte said on Facebook that he was not seeking the speakership. Those who floated his name in the speakership race could be the same people who want it, he said.
"I did not say I want to be Speaker... May nagkamali nanaman bulong sa tenga mo Mr. President," he said.
(Someone whispered the wrong information to you, Mr. President.)
Should the younger Duterte seek the top post in the House, he will go up against possible contenders including Lord Allan Velasco of Marinduque, Alan Peter Cayetano of Taguig, Martin Romualdez of Leyte, and Pantaleon Alvarez of Davao del Norte who is eyeing a comeback after being ousted last year.
The President said that during the campaign period, only Cayetano and Velasco raised the speakership issue with him. He said he did not commit to an endorsement.
"Puro ko sila kilala, puro ko sila kaibigan (I know them, they are my friends). I have nothing against them," he said.
The elder Duterte said he never tried to meddle with the legislature's leadership in the past.
"I never, never called anybody or approached anybody about the Speakership," he said.
The new speaker will be elected in July when congressmen who secured fresh 3-year terms in the May 13 vote convene the 18th Congress.
Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is at the end of her third consecutive term as Pampanga congresswoman and was not eligible for reelection.