President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday said he will no longer endorse a candidate in House speakership race, urging congressmen to “sort it out among themselves.”
In a speech after the oath-taking of local officials affiliated with Hugpong ng Pagbabago in Malacañang, the President said he asked outgoing House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to choose her next successor. Arroyo, however, declined to have the final say on the matter.
“I told her [Arroyo], ‘I will ask a favor from you. You should decide since you’re the most senior here.’ [But] they all laughed at me, I told them I wasn’t fooling around,” Duterte said.
“Ma’am [Arroyo] should decide to spare me from the agony of choosing [because] I don’t want to hold grudges because they’re all my friends,” he added.
The President also joked that she would jail Mrs. Arroyo if she declined to choose the next Speaker.
“F*ck *t, if she doesn’t want to choose, I will put her to jail again,” Duterte said, but Arroyo still declined.
Duterte said Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez approached him to express his interest in the speakership. Romualdez, along with Taguig congressman-elect Alan Peter Cayetano and Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco, also want to be Speaker.
Duterte then wondered why the burden to name the next Speaker was put on his back.
“Why would you give your problems there to me? Choose any speaker...as long as [he or she is] Filipino, I’m fine with it,” Duterte said.
“Don’t include me there. I never bothered you with [my] stuff. I never bothered you with [my] secretaries. Why would you do it to me?” he continued.
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