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Pacman holds private meeting with Duterte on PDP Speakership row in GenSan

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By JOHN CARLO M. CAHINHINAN

Administration Senator Manny Pacquiao held private a meeting with President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday evening and discussed about the ongoing Speakership row among three aspirants within the ruling PDP Laban party.

Duterte, who facilitated the distribution of Certificate of Land Ownership Award (CLOA) in Pacquiao’s hometown in General Santos City, was able to talk privately with the eight-division world boxing champion who served as the overall campaign manager of the ruling during the midterm polls.

But it is still uncertain whether or not the so-called People’s Champ was able to convince the Duterte who chairs PDP Laban to finally pick who among his three party mates will lead the 304-man House of Representatives next month.

Pacquiao was reportedly running out of time to persuade the chief executive since he is scheduled to fly to Los Angeles this coming Saturday for the continuation of his training camp for his upcoming welterweight championship showdown with Keith Thurman on July 20.

Last Tuesday, PDP Laban reportedly still 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 crib 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).

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

“The President will not interfere. He never endorsed,” said Panelo.

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