No House coup in Duterte's 4th SONA: lawmaker

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 17 2019 08:52 AM | Updated as of Jul 17 2019 09:06 AM

MANILA - There will be no coup d'etat for the House Speakership in this year's State of the Nation Address (SONA), a lawmaker said Wednesday.

Last year, Duterte's 3rd SONA was eclipsed by the power struggle between Davao del Norte Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez and then-Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, who replaced him as House Speaker after the SONA.

Anakalusugan Party-list Rep. Mike Defensor said the candidates for the Speakership have agreed with the President that Taguig-Pateros Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano will share terms with Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco.

"No, I don’t think there will be a coup. I think everyone respects the pronouncement of the President and since last week, they have been fixing the organization of the House," Defensor told ANC's Early Edition.

As for House committee chairmanships, Defensor said these will not likely be settled on Monday.

He said Davao City 3rd District Rep. Isidro Ungab will likely retain his leadership of the House Appropriations Committee while the chairman of the Accounts Committee will be selected by the House Speaker.

Defensor, meantime, said he is confident the 18th Congress will be able to amend the Constitution after 32 years.

"The US Constitution has been amended so many times. But they have done it quietly, without fuss, without the confusion we have now," he said.

"More than 30 years and there are parts of the Constitution we really have to amend. I believe we can do it with the help of the Senate."

Rift with Sara Duterte

The lawmaker also said he has patched his rift with Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio after he showed a text message supposedly from the President's daughter urging congressmen to reject Cayetano as House Speaker.

Defensor said Duterte-Carpio has accepted his apology.

"I made a public apology to mayor Inday Sara and I’m doing it again now. Mayor Inday, if I offended you in any way I apologize for that," he said.

"It was wrong of me to involve her in the Speakership battle. I apologized to her directly and she replied to me."

Defensor said he showed the text message, which he said was also received by another person, to 2 other lawmakers during the farewell dinner of Arroyo.

"What happened was when I showed it I didn’t see a quote unquote Mayor Inday. If you read it, it would seem it really came from her," he said.

"I was just mentioning it but when I showed the text I didn’t know there was a name."