Paolo Duterte floats possible 'coup' in fight for House Speaker post

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 11 2019 03:16 PM | Updated as of Jul 11 2019 05:07 PM

MANILA -- President Rodrigo Duterte's eldest son on Thursday said there could be a "coup d'etat" for the House of Representatives leadership even as the chief executive said a compromise had been reached.

The President said his former running mate, Taguig Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano would serve for 15 months, to be followed by Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco for 21 months. Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez will be the majority leader.

"May election pa sa July 22 at doon ako mas interesado, kung sino ang mananalo kasi may bali-balita, may isa sa tao na balak mag coup d’ etat on the day. Mukhang hindi pa tapos ang laban para sa kanilang 3 at sa mga backers,” said Davao City Rep. Paolo Duterte.

(There is still an election on July 22 and I am more interested in that on who will win because there are reports that someone is planning to launch a coup d’etat that day. It seems that the fight is not yet over for the 3 of them and their supporters.)

In 2018, Speaker Gloria Arroyo seized the top post from Davao del Norte Rep Pantaleon Alvarez, reportedly with the backing of the President's daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio.

The coup happened hours before Duterte delivered his State of the Nation Address. The new speaker will be elected on July 22, the day of the 2019 SONA.

Duterte-Carpio had referred to Velasco as the "next speaker" during the campaign for the May elections. Arroyo is known to be close to Romualdez.

DUTERTE 'CLOUT'

The President’s influence will remain unscathed even if lawmakers don’t heed his endorsement of Cayetano as House Speaker, Malacañang said Thursday.

“No, it’s not a reflection of the clout of the President. Because the President didn’t want to interfere in the first, didn’t wanna intrude. It’s them who somehow persuaded him to come in,” Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said.

“In the ultimate analysis, the vote on the speaker would lie on the members of Congress. The only reason why the President gave that suggestion is because those or vying for it went to him and sought his wise suggestion to settle the row between and among them,” he said.

The President said he stepped into the speakership row because it has been creating "so much uncertainty." 

-with a report from RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News