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Rody neutral on Speaker bet

Solons told to sort it out among themselves

President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday said he will no longer endorse a candidate in House speakership race, urging congressmen to “sort it out among themselves.”

Duterte then wondered why the burden to name the next Speaker was put on his back. “Why would you give your problems there to me? Choose any speaker...as long as [he or she is] Filipino, I’m fine with it,” Duterte said. “Don’t include me there. I never bothered you with [my] stuff. I never bothered you with [my] secretaries. Why would you do it to me?” he continued. “You can talk to each other,” he added, leaving the decision to the lawmakers to settle the matter. Earlier that day, Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said Duterte’s preference for a House Speaker should not be considered as interference to the affairs of the House. Panelo later said lawmakers should not wait for the President to announce his preference. The President’s former aide, Senator-elect Christopher Go, confirmed that Duterte is not inclined to choose among the three PDP-Laban contenders for Speaker. In an interview with reporters, Go said the President just does not want to interfere in the selection of the House leader. With Macon Ramos-Araneta
TOGETHER THREE. Photo for posterity is shared during the Hugpong ng Pagbabago Thanksgiving Night Monday at the Peninsula Manila in posh Makati City, with President Rodrigo Duterte (left), Speaker Gloria Arroyo (center) and Leyte Rep.-elect Martin Romualdez. Contributed Photo
In a speech after the oath-taking of local officials affiliated with Hugpong ng Pagbabago in Malacañang, the President said he asked outgoing House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to choose her next successor. Arroyo, however, declined to have the final say on the matter.

“I told her [Arroyo], ‘I will ask a favor from you. You should decide since you’re the most senior here.’ [But] they all laughed at me, I told them I wasn’t fooling around,” Duterte said.

“Ma’am [Arroyo] should decide to spare me from the agony of choosing [because] I don’t want to hold grudges because they’re all my friends,” he added.

The President also joked that she would jail Mrs. Arroyo if she declined to choose the next Speaker.

“F*ck *t, if she doesn’t want to choose, I will put her to jail again,” Duterte said, but Arroyo still declined.

Duterte said Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez approached him to express his interest in the speakership. Romualdez, along with Taguig congressman-elect Alan Peter Cayetano and Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco, also want to be Speaker.

Duterte then wondered why the burden to name the next Speaker was put on his back.

“Why would you give your problems there to me? Choose any speaker...as long as [he or she is] Filipino, I’m fine with it,” Duterte said.

“Don’t include me there. I never bothered you with [my] stuff. I never bothered you with [my] secretaries. Why would you do it to me?” he continued.

“You can talk to each other,” he added, leaving the decision to the lawmakers to settle the matter.

Earlier that day, Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said Duterte’s preference for a House Speaker should not be considered as interference to the affairs of the House.

Panelo later said lawmakers should not wait for the President to announce his preference.

The President’s former aide, Senator-elect Christopher Go, confirmed that Duterte is not inclined to choose among the three PDP-Laban contenders for Speaker.

In an interview with reporters, Go said the President just does not want to interfere in the selection of the House leader. With Macon Ramos-Araneta

READ: Duterte sets June 28 decision on new Speaker

READ: ‘House no place for OJT Speaker’

READ: Taguig solon suiting up for Speaker role?

READ: Rody leaves Speaker bet hanging

Topics: Rodrigo Duterte , House speakership , Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo , Martin Romualdez
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