MANILA - Malacañang respects the change in the leadership of the House of Representatives as a co-equal branch of government, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said Monday.
Roque said it is only lawmakers themselves who can resolve the issue.
"Ang pagtatalaga naman po at pagbobotohan ng mga mambabatas sa speaker ay isang internal na bagay po na talagang tanging pwedeng pagdesisyunan lamang ng mga miyembro ng Kamara," he told DZMM on Monday.
(The appointment and election of the House Speaker is an internal issue that only the members of the House of Representative can resolve.)
"Inirerespeto po ng Pangulo ang separation of power, kinikilala po natin na co-equal branch of government 'yan at kikilalanin natin kung sino ang napili ng mayorya para maging lider nila," Roque added.
(The President respect the separation of power. He acknowledges that the House is a co-equal branch of government, and we will acknowledge who the majority has chosen as their leader.)
Roque also said Duterte opted to spend more time with his family than intervene in the affairs of the House of Representatives.
"Parang on purpose, hindi na siya nanghimasok sa nangyayaring gulo sa Kamara at ginugol na lang niya ang panahon niya sa kanyang pamilya," he said.
(As if on purpose, he did not meddle with the issue in the House of Representatives and chose to spent time with his family.)
Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo was elected as the new House Speaker Monday evening, hours after Duterte delivered his third State of the Nation Address (SONA) with ousted Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez seated behind him.
Some 244 members of the House of Representatives resumed session around 7:30 p.m. to formalize the removal of Alvarez and the election of Arroyo as House Speaker.
Arroyo secured the speakership with 184 affirmative votes, while 12 lawmakers opted to abstain. She was the sole nominee for the position.