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Ayaw pa sumawsaw! Still no word from Duterte over PDP Speakership row, says Pacman’s camp

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By JOHN CARLO M. CAHINHINAN

President Rodrigo Duterte has yet to determine who will be the official bet of the ruling PDP Laban party for the highly-contested Speakership battle next month.

The camp of administration Senator Manny Pacquiao who was given the task by the party’s top honchos of announcing the choice of PDP Laban for the House leadership said President Duterte still wasn’t able to pick who among the three Speaker-wannabes from the administration party will lead the 304-man House of Representatives next month.

Pacquiao was supposed to announce the PDP Laban’s official candidate for the Speakership last Saturday but the boxing champ’s camp stressed that no official words yet still from the chief executive despite the senator’s private meeting with Duterte in General Santos City last Thursday evening.

Jake Joson, Pacquiao’s special assistant, said the President will call the eight-division boxing champion once again Monday (Manila Time) through Viber to determine if he really has a preferred choice for the House leadership.

The ruling party last Tuesday failed to reach a consensus over the issue of fielding only a one candidate for the House leadership next month despite a close-door conference held inside Pacquiao’s residence in Dasmariñas Village.

The meeting was graced by the three Speaker-wannabes from the ruling party namely reelected Reps. Lord Allan Velasco (Marinduque), Aurelio “Dong” Gonzales (Pampanga), and former House Speaker Pantaleon “Bebot” Alvarez (Davao del Norte).

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo on Thursday reiterated that the chief executive is neutral and would not meddle in the selection of the next House Speaker.

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