Duterte's son drops out of race for Speaker

Mr Paolo Duterte said he would not seek the House of Representatives leadership after a meeting with his father, who is the Philippine President.
Mr Paolo Duterte said he would not seek the House of Representatives leadership after a meeting with his father, who is the Philippine President.PHOTO: REUTERS

MANILA • President Rodrigo Duterte's eldest child Paolo Duterte said he would not seek the leadership of the House of Representatives after a meeting with his father.

"We both agreed that this will not be the right time for me to be Speaker," the younger Duterte said in a statement posted on Facebook on Saturday.

Mr Paolo Duterte, a first-time congressman, said earlier this month that the House is divided and he might be able to unite it as five others are seeking the post.

ABS-CBN reported on Saturday that Mr Paolo Duterte and his sister, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, met three contenders for the House leadership.

Mr Paolo Duterte, 44, who won a seat in May's midterm election, had earlier proposed to share the three-year Speaker term, and wanted to settle what he said was a divide in a newly elected chamber that has yet to convene for its first session.

President Duterte has yet to endorse a candidate amid intense lobbying for the post. A month ago, the Philippine leader said he would resign the presidency if his son became Speaker, because there were already three Dutertes in office. He was referring to daughter Sara, and youngest son Sebastian, vice-mayor of Davao City. Ms Duterte is fast becoming a political heavyweight and is being tipped to take over as president in 2022.

BLOOMBERG, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 08, 2019, with the headline 'Duterte's son drops out of race for Speaker'. Print Edition | Subscribe