Mindanao Times

‘Not the right time’ Pulong backs out of Speakershi­p race

- By Julianne A. Suarez

PRESIDENTI­AL Son and Rep. Paolo “Pulong” Duterte has backed out for the House leadership race.

The city’s first district congressma­n said he made the decision after discussing with his father, President Rodrigo Duterte, who earlier vowed to resign should his eldest child seek the Speakershi­p post.

“I have personally spoken to President Rodrigo Duterte Thursday night in Davao City regarding my plan to run for speaker of the House of Representa­tives,” Pulong said.

He said his decision of backing out was a consensus between him and his father.

“We both agreed that this will not be the right time for me to be the Speaker and I can still help his administra­tion from the House in a different capacity,” the head of the city’s ruling party, Hugpong ng Tawong Lungsod (HTL).

Pulong expressed his support to Rep. Isidro Ungab, who is endorsed by the sister- party Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP), headed by his sister, City Mayor Sara Duterte.

“As President of Hugpong sa Tawong Lungsod, I will support the bid for Speakershi­p of Congressma­n Isidro Ungab from our sister party, Hugpong ng Pagbabago,” the former vice-mayor said.

Ungab’s bid, according to Pulong, has been brought up to the president as well. However, the President remains neutral in the Speaker race amid the spats among the administra­tion’s allies.

The representa­tives under the joint HNP and HTL formed the Duterte Coalition, hopeing “to unite the House.”

Aside from Pulong and Ungab, other members include Vincent Garcia, Corazon Malanyaon, Manuel Zamora, Lorna Bautista, Claudine Bautista, Sandro Gonzales and Anton Lopez.

The Duterte Coalition is said to be a “strategic partnershi­p of dynamic public servants who are committed to institute governance and developmen­t reforms that are necessary for the Philippine­s to secure its rightful place in the world stage of nations, particular­ly in the Southeast Asian region.”

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