Sara Duterte's Hugpong ng Pagbabago backs House term-sharing pact

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 12 2020 10:08 AM

President Rodrigo Duterte's daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, meets with Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco on Friday. Contributed photo

MANILA - Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio said Monday her regional party Hugpong ng Pagbabago supports the House speakership term-sharing agreement between Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Jay Velasco and Taguig-Pateros 1st District Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano.

In a statement, the President’s daughter said her regional party HNP “will respect the term-sharing agreement as ordered by the President last year.”

Under the term-sharing deal that President Rodrigo Duterte brokered last year, Cayetano will lead the House of Representatives for the first 15 months of the 18th Congress or until October, while Velasco will serve for the remaining 21 months.

Duterte-Carpio revealed that Velasco sought her help on the impending vote on the speakership post.

“Congressman Velasco came to Davao City to personally meet me and discuss Hugpong Ng Pagbabago,” she said.

“He intimated that there will be a Speakership vote and he sought for my help, as the Chairperson of HNP, with regard to the votes of the 3 HNP Congressmen from Davao Region,” she added.

Duterte-Carpio also said the Davao-based party, which was created to assist the Duterte administration, also supported Proclamation 1027.

The order calls on Congress to conduct a special session on Oct. 13 to 16 to resume deliberations on the proposed 2021 budget after sessions were suspended by Cayetano last week.

Her brother, Deputy Speaker Paolo Duterte, refused to take sides in the ongoing speakership row, saying congressmen should vote for a Speaker who could unify all members of the lower chamber.

In an interview, Surigao del Norte 2nd District Rep. Robert Ace Barbers said the endorsement of the President's daughter could install Velasco and spell the end of Cayetano's stay as Speaker.

"It happened in the past and history will tell us that Speaker Bebot Alvarez who had a strong bond and relationship with the President was replaced after apparently Mayor Sara and the children of the President started campaigning in favor of former President GMA," Barbers told ANC. 

Duterte-Carpio was credited for orchestrating a House coup that toppled Davao del Norte 1st District Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez from the chamber’s helm in July 2018.

The Davao City mayor is a member of the ruling party PDP-Laban and chairperson of the regional party Hugpong ng Pagbabago.

“Not to mention Mayor Sara is the daughter of the President. Whatever moves she does could somehow be attributed to the move or endorsement of the President,” said Barbers, an ally of Cayetano. 

“There’s a big influence if indeed there was support being extended by Mayor Sara to congressman Velasco.”

Barbers maintained that Cayetano had no intention of reneging the term-sharing deal.

“He’s been open in saying that he’s going to honor the agreement provided we finished first the budget,” he said.

The lower chamber will hold a special session from Oct. 13 to 16 to speed up the passage of the proposed 2021 budget.