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Paolo Duterte abandons speakership bid

MANILA, Philippines – Davao City 1st District Representative Paolo Duterte announced on Saturday, July 6, that he was no longer running for House Speaker. 

Duterte said in a statement on Saturday that he and his father, President Rodrigo Duterte, arrived at the decision during a meeting  in Davao City on Thursday, July 4.

"I have personally spoken to President Rodrigo Duterte Thursday night in Davao City regarding my plan to run for speaker of the House of Representatives. We both agreed that this will not be the right time for me to be Speaker and I can still help his administration from the House in a different capacity," Paolo said.

He said he would support the speakership bid of Davao 3rd District Representative Isidro Ungab, the candidate of the Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP) chaired by his sister, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte. 

"As president of Hugpong sa Tawong Lungsod, I will support the bid for speakership of Congressman Isidro Ungab from our sister party, Hugpong ng Pagbabago," he said.

"The President has also been fully informed of Rep. Ungab’s participation in the race for the next Speaker of the House of Representatives," the congressman added.

Sara Duterte announced HNP's choice of Ungab as candidate for Speaker a day after Paolo declared his speakership bid.

On Friday, Paolo announced the formation of the 9-member Duterte Coalition in the House, composed mostly of Davao lawmakers.

The House will elect its new Speaker on July 22. The President had distanced himself from the speakership race, saying he wanted lawmakers to choose their new leader on their own.

The others vying for the speakership are Marinduque Representative Lord Allan Velasco, the ruling PDP-Laban candidate; Leyte 1st District Representative Martin Romualdez; Taguig City-Pateros Representative Alan Peter Cayetano; and Davao del Norte 1st District Representative Pantaleon Alvarez. Rappler.com