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Do they want Duterte to resign? Velasco-Romero tag team gathering signatures for Speaker Pulong

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Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Jay Velasco and 1-PACMAN party-list Rep. Mikee Romero are gathering signatures for the possible speakership bid of presidential son, Davao City Rep. Paolo “Pulong” Duterte, Politiko has learned.

A source told Politiko that at least 35 lawmakers have signed the manifesto of support made by Velasco and Romero for Pulong as of Tuesday (July 2).

The emergence of a manifesto of support for Pulong comes amid a pronouncement from Pampanga Rep. Aurelio “Dong” Gonzales Jr., PDP-Laban’s executive vice president, that Velasco will give way to the presidential son if he is serious about running for Speaker.

Pulong has said that he is considering joining the speakership race because of the disagreement between Velasco and Taguig Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano about a term sharing deal.

While the prospect of Velasco giving way to Pulong seems surprising, some lawmakers believe his move to shore up support for the presidential son is a smokescreen for his ambition to win the speakership race.

Last week, Velasco made it appear that he garnered the support of majority of the House of Representatives by gathering Romero and representatives from the Nationalist People’s Coalition, National Unity Party and Northern Luzon Alliance to sign a manifesto of support for him.

It was later confirmed that Romero didn’t have the party-list coalition’s authorization to endorse Velasco, while the NPC is still undecided on its candidate for Speaker.

Velasco could be tempting fate by pushing Pulong to run since no less than President Rodrigo Duterte has said that he would resign if his son joins the speakership race.

Duterte’s long time aide, Senator Bong Go, said the President is serious about his threat.

“Knowing the president, kilala ko po siya in the last 21 years. Kung ano pong binitawan na salita ni Pangulong Duterte ay tutuparin niya po ‘yun,” he said.

Will Velasco push his luck by angering a President who’s already irked by his hubris?

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