MANILA - Now, it’s the President's eldest son versus his tourism secretary.
The House of Representatives on Thursday momentarily suspended its plenary deliberations on the 2020 budget of the housing agencies to allow Deputy Speaker Paolo Duterte to make a manifestation on the budget of the Department of Tourism (DOT).
Duterte began by saying he wanted to participate in the interpellation of the DOT’s budget last Tuesday, September 17 "to seek clarification on certain issues and concerns regarding what is happenning now in that department under the leadership of Secretary Berna Romulo Puyat.”
“I had planned to ask some questions because it has come to my attention that there have been several complaints on the management style of Secretary Romulo Puyat in relation to the approval of contracts and projects in her department,” he said.
However the president’s son recalled that he instead agreed to meet with the DOT chief and House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano separately.
“However as part of the pre-plenary conference between agencies of the executive departments and the House of Representatives, our honorable speaker deemed it prudent that these issues be threshed out directly with Secretary Romulo Puyat hence following the established procedure in the House I sat down with the Speaker and Secretary Romulo Puyat to discuss my concerns regarding her department.”
“I wanted to clarify these issues because I believe it is my right and sworn duty as a member of this esteemed chamber to ask question and thus interpellate any of my fellow legislator on the floor,” he added.
"I would be remiss of my duty as a representative of the people of Davao City’s 1st district if I turn a deaf ear to the complaints and grievances that have reached my office regarding the Department of Tourism,” Duterte said.
He added that things didn’t turn out the way he had hoped they would.
“After I had discussed my concerns with Secretary Puyat napupuyat na ako dito sa babae na ito in the presence of our speaker, I thought that was the last of it. Bilang paggalang sa ating speaker pumayag akong kausapin si Secretary Puyat,” he said.
He implied that Puyat told his father, President Rodrigo Duterte, what happened.
“Ang buong akala ko ay maganda ang ikakabunga ng aming pag-uusap yun pala ay mauuwi lang sa sumbungan at mga maling parating laban sa akin at alam niyo na esteemeed colleagues kung kanino,” he said.
He claimed he is merely exposing what he believed is the questionable character of the tourism secretary.
“Ito lang po Mr. Speaker ako po ay naniniwala na dapat ipabatid natin sa lahat ang mga pangyayaring ito nang sa gayon ay malaman ng ating mga kababayan ang tunay niyang karakter at pag-uugali,” Duterte said.
Puyat was not present during the plenary session. She was present last September 17 during the DOT's budget deliberation.
ABS-CBN News is still trying to get the side of Puyat regarding Duterte's allegations.