Taguig Rep. Allan Peter Cayetano takes a group photo with Pesident Rodrigo Duterte, Manila Mayor Francisco ‘Isko Moreno’ Domagoso, Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez and Presidential Assistant for the Visayas Michael Dino at the sidelines of the Presidential Security Group (PSG) anniversary at the PSG Compound on June 26, 2019. (Karl Norman Alonzo, Presidential Photo)

President Rodrigo Duterte has settled the contest for the next speaker of the House of Representatives, announcing on Monday that one of his top allies, Taguig Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano, will succeed outgoing House Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

Cayetano, however, will share the speaker’s three-year term with rival Lord Allan Velasco of Marinduque. A third contender, Leyte Rep. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez, will serve as majority leader.

Duterte told reporters on Monday he had committed to Cayetano during the campaign for the May 2019 polls.

“Well, I said… I have been very clear on that na during the campaign, sabi niya (Cayetano) kung manalo siya, gusto niya mag-speaker [he said that if he won, he would like to become speaker],” the President said.

“He was the first one at least to intimate to me that,” he added.

Duterte said Davao City Rep. Isidro Ungab, endorsed by his daughter Sara Duterte-Carpio’s Hugpong ng Pagbabago regional party, was not on his list of choices for speaker.

The President made the statement after his son, Paolo Duterte, also a Davao representative, announced that he would join the race. The younger Duterte however later withdrew. Duterte had vowed to resign if his son threw his hat for the speakership.

Duterte claimed he was not interfering with the affairs of the House.

“It has nothing to do with the independence of the legislative body. Up to that point, it’s all politics. Ganun ‘yan. But interfering in the legislation and in the workings of the Lower House, ibang istorya ‘yon [that’s a different story]. That’s entirely a different scenario,” he said. (PressONE.ph)