Duterte meets with House Speaker bets in Japan

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 30) — President Rodrigo Duterte met with some of the candidates for the House Speakership race during his four-day trip to Japan.

In photos posted by Senator-elect Christopher "Bong" Go on his Facebook page, the President was spotted with Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco, returning Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez, and incoming Taguig-Pateros Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano.

Cayetano shared what happened during the meeting on Wednesday. 

"Everyone expressed their desire to help the adminstration. I requested a more principled way to the Speakership. Trusting the institution and protecting its integrity is essential to the reforms we are fighting for," he said in a statement Thursday. 

Aside from the three candidates, reelected Davao del Norte 1st District Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez and 3rd District Rep. Aurelio “Dong” Gonzales are also eyeing the post. Meanwhile, the President’s son, incoming Davao City 1st District Rep. Paolo Duterte, has quashed rumors that he will run for Speaker. The President also threatened to resign if he gunned for the speakership.

Incoming Antique Rep. Loren Legarda said she does not aspire to be House Speaker, contrary to reports. She said she was surprised to see her name amongst those being considered to be House Speaker.

"I was surprised to see my name. I have not made any effort to aspire for the speakership... With regards to the job, I know I can do the job. But do I want the job, not necessarily... The speakership was never in my radar," the outgoing senator said.

Duterte previously said he will not endorse any candidate vying for the speakership — a key position leading up to the 2022 presidential elections.

"Sa speakership, wala akong kinakampihan," he said in a speech on May 27.

Malacañang said that it is all up to the House to pick its next leader.

CNN Philippines correspondent Joyce Ilas contributed to this report.