MANILA—Regional party Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP) has endorsed Davao City 3rd District Rep. Isidro Ungab for the House Speaker's post amid a tight race in the lower chamber's leadership.
"We understand if President [Rodrigo] Duterte, because of delicadeza, will not accept the intent of our brother from Hugpong sa Tawong Lungsod, Congressman Paolo Duterte, to resolve the conflict among candidates," the party said in a statement released early Wednesday.
"Therefore, we are endorsing the bid of Congressman Isidro Ungab for Speaker."
HNP is led by the President's daughter, Davao City mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio.
The party said Ungab is an experienced lawmaker and the only one to hold the chairmanships of both Ways and Means and Appropriations committees.
"We suggest that Cong. Alan Peter Cayetano take the Majority Leader position, Cong. Lord Alan Velasco to take the Appropriations Committee, and Cong. Martin Romualdez to head the Accounts Committee," HNP said.
"We earnestly hope that everyone can see the light in this option and move forward with urgency in serving our country."
Despite occupying a local post, Duterte-Carpio is an influential figure in national politics as 9 of 13 candidates endorsed by her party won Senate seats in the midterm polls.
She was also instrumental in the ouster of Davao del Norte 1st District Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez as House Speaker hours before the President delivered his third State of the Nation Address (SONA).—With a report from Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News