Leave the President alone and respect his decision to remain neutral in the speakership fight.
This was the message of Surigao del Sur Rep. Prospero Pichay Jr. to members of the executive and legislative department “who are reportedly trying to persuade President Duterte to intervene in the Speakership race.”
“As far as the Speakership race is concerned, I think the President has made it clear that he wants to stay neutral, the contenders are all his allies. I am urging the contenders not to bother the President because he has so many pressing problems in our country,” said Pichay in a statement.
“I also urge other government officials to keep their hands off the Speakership race. They should stop pressuring the President to endorse a Speakership aspirant of their choice,” he added.
Pichay said officials of the executive and legislative departments must respect the President’s decision not to dip his fingers in the Speakership fight as this guarantees the unity and independence of the 18th Congress.
“I urge the contenders to campaign for the speakership among the lawmakers because whoever has the numbers will have the mandate. If you have the mandate, it is easier for us to
pass the legislative agenda of the President because you have the support of the majority of lawmakers,” the Surigao solon said.
“Maliwanag naman ang sinabi ng ating Pangulo na you are all my friends, you are all my allies, I leave it to the lawmakers to decide as to who will be their Speaker. With that, whoever will emerge as the Speaker will have a mandate,” he added.
He said the three top contenders for Speaker— Reps. Martin Romualdez, Allan Peter Cayetano and Lord Allan Velasco – are all qualified for the top House position.
But for a candidate to win the Speakership, according to Pichay, he should campaign to individual congressman and make sure that he has the majority of congressmen standing by his side.
“If you win because you campaign to lawmakers, then you are a real Speaker dahil ikaw talaga ay halal ng majority ng members ng House,” he explained.
“The President has so many things to fix and problems to take care of. Let him do his job. Picking the Speaker is not one of them. The President is right: that job belongs to the congressmen,” he added.