Duterte camp confident they can have an ally as House Speaker

DAVAO CITY – The camp of incoming president Rodrigo R. Duterte, during a meeting here today, is confident they can have an ally to win the speakership of the House of Representatives.

In an interview at the Marco Polo Davao, third-time Davao City Rep. Karlo Alexei Nograles said that Pantaleon “Bebot” Alvarez (PDP-Laban), one of the representatives from Davao del Norte, is the top choice to vie for the speakership.

Nograles, who is congressman since 2010, was in the meeting of Duterte’s transition committee and allies which started in the morning; he left at past 2 p.m.

He said that he believes they have the numbers to get enough votes in the lower house to elect a Duterte ally as House Speaker.

“We need to have a House Speaker who will support the policy legislative agenda and the directions of the Duterte administration,” he said.

Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano, the running mate of the incoming president, arrived at the hotel past 3 p.m. to join the meeting of the transition committee, which was still ongoing as of press time.

Peter T. Laviña, spokesperson of Duterte, in his Facebook post disclosed the members of the transition committee: campaign manager Jun Evasco, assistant campaign manager and executive assistant Christopher Bong Go, former cabinet member and head of campaign finance committee Carlos G. Dominguez, lawyers Medialdea and Loreto Ata (Duterte’s personal lawyers), and Laviña himself.

In a press conference at the Royal Mandaya Tuesday, Laviña said that they are working out for the formation of four committees, namely: transition committee, selection committee, policy group, and inauguration committee.

He said the transition committee will work for the smooth transition of the incoming president with outgoing President Benigno Simeon Aquino III, the selection committee will help Duterte vet and select prospect personalities to be appointed as members of the cabinet, while the policy group will work on programs that need immediate actions for the next three to six months of the incoming administration.

Duterte earlier said that he would like a simple inauguration with select guests, as he does not want to disturb the public with traffic congestions.

The 71-year-old Duterte was elected mayor in 1988. He served as mayor until 1998, and again for three terms from 2001 to 2010. He served as first district representative from 1998 to 2001 and vice mayor to daughter Sara from 2010 to 2013. He was elected mayor again in 2013, and by June 30 shall have completed 22 years as mayor of Davao City.