Sara still opposed to speaker term-sharing
MANILA, Philippines — Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio and her Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP) remain opposed to the scheme of splitting the House speaker’s three-year term of office between two aspirants.
“Yes, no change (in NHP’s stand),” Carpio said in response to a question on whether the decision of her father, President Duterte, to broker a term-sharing arrangement between Reps. Alan Peter Cayetano of Taguig and Lord Allan Velasco of Marinduque has altered her and her party’s position on the issue.
Carpio and her brother Rep. Paolo Duterte of Davao City’s first district last week objected to the Cayetano-Velasco division of the speaker’s three years that was then being floated.
The President’s daughter described it as “counterproductive,” saying “it will slow down the last three years of the administration of President Duterte.”
“We do not know why the term sharing influencers do not seem to care what will happen to the House. They just want to install a speaker and do not think about what comes after. Let us leave the speaker issue to the members of the House of Representatives and the political parties, and that include HNP and HTL,” Carpio said.
HTL is Hugpong ng Tawong Lungsod, HNP’s local affiliate led by Rep. Duterte.
The presidential siblings had formed the Duterte Coalition “to unite the House.” They endorsed Rep. Isidro Ungab of Davao City’s third district as a compromise candidate for speaker.
Carpio also slammed former Arroyo cabinet member Mike Defensor, the primary nominee of party-list group Anakalusugan.
In a statement yesterday, Carpio urged Defensor “to stop sowing intrigue and to name the source in his pronouncements to allow people to verify the truth of his claim.”
“Give us the name of the neophyte member of the House of Representatives from whom you received a text with a supposed message coming from me. A responsible individual would have asked me if there is truth to the text,” she said.
Defensor on Tuesday showed reporters a text message purportedly coming from Carpio, and in which she was supposedly urging congressmen to vote for the speaker they support.
Carpio was supposed to have claimed that certain Cabinet members pulled a fast one on her father who brokered a speakership term-sharing arrangement between Cayetano and Velasco.
Defensor is a supporter of Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez, who was a candidate for speaker before the President recommended him to be majority leader instead.
“People should know that it was not I who was in panic hours before the meeting in Malacañang was supposed to happen (on Monday). In fact, it was Rep. Defensor who reached out to me thru attorney Charo Munsayac, making last minute requests for Rep. Romualdez, to which I said that I will not interfere in that matter,” Carpio said.
She recalled that after the meeting in Malacañang, Defensor “reached out again and I recognized that he was trying to light a fire about the term-sharing decision that came out of the meeting last Monday.”
“I played dumb to end the conversation… should I have anything to say about what happened on July 8, I will not cowardly hide behind an alleged ‘panawagan’ (call). I reiterate for Rep. Defensor to name his source because I have a reputation to protect and I have the right to confront a person who is spreading disinformation. Otherwise, we can all say that you are your own source,” she said.
Text message at party
The text message purportedly coming from Carpio reportedly circulated among congressmen attending the appreciation dinner tendered for former president and former House speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo at The Manila Hotel on Tuesday, which was also attended by the President.
Actually the President announced the setup he was endorsing for the speakership last Monday after Cayetano, Velasco and Romualdez failed to resolve the issue on the speakership in spite of the marathon meetings they held in Davao City over the weekend. – With Delon Porcalla, Edith Regalado