No more coup? Cayetano says Paolo Duterte agreed to be deputy speaker
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Taguig City-Pateros Representative and Speaker aspirant Alan Peter Cayetano said presidential son and Davao City 1st District Representative Paolo Duterte has accepted his offer for the latter to be one of the deputy speakers.
On Friday, July 19, Cayetano shared on Facebook a picture of him shaking hands with the son of President Rodrigo Duterte at an office in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig.
According to Cayetano, Paolo Duterte has agreed to take on the job of deputy speaker for political affairs under the 18th Congress.
“Thank you very much Cong. Paolo ‘Pulong’ Duterte for our talk on what the country needs and how we can put together a very responsive Congress. Thank you also for accepting the challenge for being the next Deputy Speaker for Political Affairs,” said Cayetano.
“Together, we can all work towards a better Philippines and implement the President's agenda,” he added.
Paolo Duterte had once gunned for the speakership, but he immediately withdrew from the race and instead formed the Duterte Coalition of lawmakers who are pushing for Davao City 3rd District Representative Isidro Ungab to become the next leader of the House.
But the President himself later greenlighted the term-sharing deal for Speaker between Cayetano and Mariduque Representative Lord Allan Velasco, both of whom are allied with Duterte.
The Duterte Coalition remained silent, until Paolo Duterte hinted more than a week later that a coup plot is supposedly brewing against Cayetano – said to be the least liked by lawmakers among the speakership bets but who is now getting support because House members are out to secure the key leadership positions they want for themselves.
Rappler learned that both Cayetano and the Duterte Coalition are set to host separate breakfasts for House members at 8 am on Monday, July 22, when lawmakers will elect the next Speaker.
In a radio interview, Cayetano said both breakfasts will still push through. But he said he will be attending the Duterte Coalition's breakfast at the South Lounge of the Batasang Pambansa, then invite Paolo Duterte to go the one he is hosting at the Nograles Hall.
"Gusto ko lang po i-announce na hindi bawal na dalawang beses mag-breakfast. Ako po mismo ay makikipag-breakfast po kay mahal nating magiging Deputy Speaker Duterte at iimbitahin at yayayain ko rin siya," said Cayetano.
(I just want to announce that it is not prohibited to have two breakfasts. I will be having breakfast with our beloved soon-to-be Deputy speaker Duterte and I would also invite him to come to my breakfast.)
Cayetano said he understands the around 80 neophyte lawmakers would want to dine with Paolo Duterte, with whom most of them are close.
"'Yon lang naman po' yun. Pero nagkalinawan kami na hindi naman bawal mag-breakfast ng dalawang beses lalo na mahaba 'yung araw dahil may SONA (State of the Nation Address) sa hapon," said Cayetano.
(That's all there is to it really. But we talked to each other and we agreed it is not illegal to hold two breakfasts, since the day will be long because of the SONA in the afternoon.)
Duterte will be delivering his 4th SONA before a joint session of the 18th Congress at 4 pm on Monday, July 22. – Rappler.com