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Paolo Duterte owns up to House coup threat

REP. Duterte

Deputy Speaker and presidential son Paolo Duterte has confirmed his coup threat against the current House leadership headed by Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano amid the latest episode of bickering among congressmen over infrastructure budget allocations in their respective districts.

“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, Davao City’s 1st district representative, said in a statement sent to House reporters Sunday afternoon.

“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 said.

The message, which Rep. Duterte sent to his House colleagues via Viber either Thursday or Friday, read: “Sinabihan ko na kayo, nananahimik lang ako kasi di na ako kinakausap nina Speaker, ngayon nadamay ako. I will ask the Mindanao Bloc to declare the seat of Speaker and Deputy Speakers vacant ngayong Monday (this Monday, September 21).”

“Di mamamatay ang Mindanao dahil walang budget! (Mindanao won’t die because of absence of budget!)” further read the message, which according to Rep. Duterte was sent to House Appropriations Committee chairman, ACT-CIS Party-List Rep. Eric Go Yap.

The coup threat came to light amid the appropriation’s panel’s high-stakes deliberation on the P4.506-trillion National Expenditure Program (NEP) for 2021 as well as the supposed imminent turnover of the Speakership by Cayetano to Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan’s (PDP-Laban) Marinduque lone district Rep. Lord Allan Velasco.

Cayetano, who represents Taguig-Pateros in the Lower Chamber, belongs to the Nacionalista Party (NP). This term-sharing deal was brokered last year by no less than President Duterte himself in order to prevent his political coalition from splintering.

“Now as Congress continues to be hounded by the issue of budget — something that finds its way up to the current House leadership, how it treats its members, how it approves allocations and budgets with fairness or lack of it — let me reiterate my position. I do not want to get involved, however, I wish to help my fellow lawmakers find answers to their questions or remedies to the budget that they proposed for their people,” Rep. Duterte said Sunday.

He said he is leaving it up to the House members to “come up with a favorable solution,” while underscoring that they “have the power to change the leadership.” (Ellson Quismorio)

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Written by Tempo Desk

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