Cayetano eyes House Speakership

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Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano at the signing of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons at the UN headquarters in New York. (FILE PHOTO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 11) — This early, Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano has his eyes set on the House leadership.

Cayetano on Thursday confirmed he will run as Taguig City-Pateros representative in the 2019 midterm elections.

He said he wants to focus on his Congress bid first, and if he wins, he will vie for House Speaker.

"I will seek the leadership position in the House but you know it's a complex matter. You have to win first sa district mo and I wanna focus on that first," he told reporters in a chance interview in Bali, Indonesia. The country's top diplomat led the symbolic turnover of P16 million or $300,000 worth of assistance in the wake of the deadly quake and tsunami that left thousands dead in Indonesia.

Cayetano said he had offered to stay as head of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) for upcoming diplomatic events, including preparations for Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit in November.

He said it's up to President Rodrigo Duterte to accept his offer. He said the President has chosen his replacement, and it's up to Duterte to disclose the name.

READ: Duterte reveals Cabinet members who will run in 2019 elections

"It's not an easy decision. DFA is a real family. It's a very very fulfilling job," Cayetano said, adding that some of the "original supporters of the President" urged him to run for Congress.

Cayetano did not say when he would file his certificate of candidacy, as the filing began Thursday. He has until October 17 to do so. The campaign period for the May 13, 2019 polls is on Feb. 12 to May 11, 2019.