Davao Rep. Paolo Duterte

MANILA — Presidential son and Deputy Speaker Paolo Duterte has late Sunday confirmed that there is a move to declare as vacant the positions of Speaker and Deputy Speakers.

The move came on the heels of the raging speakership row fueled by alleged “disparity” in infrastructure budget allocations of lawmakers in their respective districts.

However, the former vice mayor of Davao City explained that his text message to congressmen to declare the positions vacant was just an expression of his “personal dismay” upon learning of the trading of barbs in the lower chamber.

“The text message that I sent to another lawmaker — and is now making the rounds — was an expression of my personal dismay upon hearing the concerns of my fellow lawmakers,” Duterte said.

“It was the same message that I sent after one Congressman from the Visayas bloc dragged my name into the issue even after I have already strongly made myself clear over this issue,” he added.

The Davao City representative, however, refused to have his name involved in the House leadership row.

“Although I am an ex officio member being a Deputy Speaker, I have respectfully and clearly told them that their concern is something that I would rather stay away from — out of delicadeza because my father is the President,” Duterte added.

“Most of these concerns shrouded doubts over the process and mistrust of the lawmakers ruling the House, those who are acting as if they are bigger than their colleagues.”

“Respectfully, I told them that I did not want to get involved,” he went on.

The said controversy at the House unfolded during the Department of Public Works and Highways’ budget briefing before the House appropriations panel where Negros Oriental Rep. Arnolfo Teves, Jr. claimed that Camarines Sur has been allotted a hefty P11.8 billion for infrastructure projects, while Taguig City will get P8 billion.

Taguig is the legislative turf of House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano and his wife, Taguig 2nd District Rep. Lani Cayetano.

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