MANILA – Davao City Rep. Paolo "Pulong" Duterte, President Rodrigo Duterte’s eldest son, would be "unbeatable" if he runs for House Speaker in the 18th Congress.
Albay Rep. Joey Salceda wrote in a Facebook post Tuesday that Rep. Duterte will get more than a majority vote from Congress if the House freshman runs.
“Realpolitik: Paolo will get 300 and no need to share term. Surely, Martin will give way. The long and short of it: It's still the President who will wield the sword," Salceda wrote.
Salceda is a known ally of Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez, who is vying for the Speakership with Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco and Taguig-Pateros Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano.
According to Pampanga Rep. Aurelio Dong Gonzales — an ally of Velasco — nobody would beat Duterte in a Speakership fight.
“We have no objection na lahat 'pag siya ang pumasok sa Speakership. Palagay ko wala nang lalaban at lahat kami, all the coalition partners, sasama diyan," Gonzales said.
"We are for Cong. Pulong Duterte for Speaker.”
Gonzales added that Velasco, the PDP-Laban's supposed strong contender, will even give way to Pulong.
"Basta si Cong. Pulong ang mag-Speaker, lahat kami kay Cong. Lord susuporta kay Cong. Pulong," he said.
Duterte is a 1st-time House member but the lack of experience will not be a problem for him as House Speaker, according to AKO Bicol Party-list Rep. Alfredo Garbin.
“Wala naman isyu doon as to whether pagdating sa qualification. As long as you're an incumbent congressman, you can run for any position of the House, not limiting to the highest position of the House, which is the Speakership.”
These statements came after Duterte said he might run for House Speaker. He earlier said he does not want the post but changed his mind after hearing talks of "term sharing" from Cayetano.
Duterte won in the May 2019 polls as representative of the 1st district of Davao City under the Hugpong sa Tawong Lungsod, which is the President's local party. – RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News