The House of Representatives is currently enjoying some of its highest ratings in recent history. Members of the House have credited the leadership of Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano, who himself broke records with his trust and approval ratings, for these historic ratings. Given this, it seems that Speaker Cayetano may be voted in for more than the proposed 15-months of the term sharing agreement.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo gave the Palace’s stance on the issue – it is the Members of the House who will ultimately decide on their Speaker.
“As far as the President is concerned, he does not want to interfere in any act or measure or activity in a co-equal branch,” Panelo said during a news conference at the Palace.
President Duterte actually refrained from commenting on the Speakership arrangement for a long time, finally breaking his silence after numerous requests from his allies in the House. Panelo’s recent statement conforms with this view, showing that the President is happy to be uninvolved with the House’s inner proceedings. Given that his priority measures have been passing speedily in the House, it seems he has no reason to be concerned.
Panelo added that, “The only reason why (President Duterte) made a proposal is because his suggestion was sought by those contending persons for the Speakership,” he said. “Natapos na iyong papel ni Presidente doon eh [The President’s role has ended],” he added.
Despite the President’s hands off policy, Speaker Cayetano has said that he would still look to President Duterte’s guidance if he should remain as Speaker after the 15 months. And while it will be up to the members of the House to elect their leader, Speaker Cayetano has vowed to follow the President’s instructions on the matter.