MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte is confident Taguig-Pateros Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano will be elected as the next Speaker of the House of Representatives, Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said Tuesday.
"The President himself is very confident that Congressman Cayetano will be the next Speaker. So it doesn't give us (Malacañang) a reason to be worried at all," Andanar told ANC Beyond Politics.
According to Andanar, Duterte did not order his political allies to vote for Cayetano in the upcoming 18th Congress since those who contended for the Speakership, such as Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco and Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez, presented themselves to the President as candidates for the position.
"...The Speaker want-to-be's were the ones who really went to the President and talked to him about it. And you see it in most of the activities of the President - whether it's here in the Philippines or outside...it's really them who wanted the President to get into the picture and decide," the communications chief said.
The President will neither hold a grudge nor punish those who will not vote for Cayetano, according to Andanar.
"I think the President just said that this (Cayetanano's candidacy) is his preference and choice, and if they don't follow, I don't think the President will even take it against them," Andanar said.
Duterte endorsed Cayetano last July 8 as the next House Speaker.
Cayetano, who was the President's runningmate in the 2016 national elections, will share the House Speaker postwith Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco, while Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez will be the House Majority leader, according to Duterte.
The House speakership election will take place on July 22, just before Duterte delivers his 4th State of the Nation Address.