Duterte says he will resign if son Paolo runs for House Speaker

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 27) — President Rodrigo Duterte said he will resign should his son, Davao City Congressman-elect Paolo Duterte run for House Speaker.

Itong si Paolo, sabihin ko sa kanya, 'If you run for speakership, let me know. Kasi kung tatakbo ka, magre-resign ako kasi marami na tayo,'” Duterte said at the oath-taking of newly-appointed government officials Monday.

[Translation: To Paolo, I tell him, "If you run for speakership, let me know. If you run, I will resign since there are plenty of us in government."]

The President said the only reason he is meddling with the speakership race is because the thought of the Dutertes in power is making him uneasy. His daughter Sara Duterte is Davao City mayor, while his son Sebastian is the city's vice mayor.

The President reacted to Davao del Norte Rep. and former Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez's remarks that Paolo Duterte may also gun for the post. Alvarez, who was unseated last year, said he will withdraw his own bid for the speakership and support Pulong instead.

Duterte also claimed people sent feelers, but he has not committed to any endorsement for House Speaker.

“I never never called anybody or approached anybody about the speakership," he added.

Paolo, however, denied any ambition for the House leadership.

"I did not say I want to be House Speaker. May nagkamali na naman ng bulong sa tenga mo [Someone whispered the wrong thing to you], Mr. President," he said in a Facebook post Thursday.

House Minority Leader Danilo Suarez is not keen as well with Paolo as speaker in the 18th Congress.

“I really doubt it if people will accept na presidente ay si Pangulong Duterte at ang speaker anak niya. Marami nang magtataas ng kilay na mga tao doon. Too bad natyempuhan ni Congressman Duterte na presidente tatay niya,” he said.

[Translation: I really doubt it if people will accept that the President is President Duterte and the Speaker is his son. That will raise eyebrows. Too bad Congressman Duterte takes office while his father is president.

Suarez believes the younger Duterte will have a better chance at vying for the speakership if his father is no longer in office.

Others eyeing the post are Taguig congressman-elect Alan Peter Cayetano, incoming Leyte representative Martin Romualdez, and Alvarez, who was ousted during the President’s State of the Nation Address in 2018.