Duterte fed up with politics in House - Roque
President Rodrigo Duterte is already exasperated with the "politics" going on in the House of Representatives involving the speakership, Malacanang said on Monday.
In a televised press briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said Duterte wants the House to pass first the proposed budget for next year and after that the lawmakers could do whatever they want.
"That's the problem now. There's too much politicking in the House already. So, if the congressmen are listening, it's very sure that that President said in the Visayan ( dialect), 'Natagam nako diyan sa pulitika. Dalang-dala na ako sa pulitika (I'm fed up with politics)'," he said.
"It's up to you whatever you want. But meanwhile, he's appealing to pass the 2021 budget. He doesn't care whatever the lawmakers will do after they pass the 2021 budget," Roque said, reiterating Duterte was not siding with anyone of them.
"May the best man win for the speakership. (But) after the budget in the House (is passed)," he stressed.
Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano and Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco, as well as their respective allies in the House, have been squabbling over the speakership.
In a session held at the Celebrity Sports Complex in Quezon City on Monday morning, Velasco was installed as the new Speaker, replacing Cayetano.
But Cayetano, in a press conference at the House, branded Velasco's election as fake since the session was also fake because it was held outside Congress.
Asked if Duterte was fed up because the term-sharing agreement which the President himself brokered last year between Cayetano and Velasco was not followed, Roque said, "He was fed up because there's no stopping of politicking there in the House."
"They both want, all those who want to be a Speaker just want power. How about the country?" he said.
Roque refused to comment on the session held at Celebrity Sports Plaza, saying that it is enshrined in the Constitution that the selection of leadership "is purely internal matter of the House and that is the position of the President."
He reiterated that Duterte is not endorsing Cayetano or Velasco.
Roque also raised concern on the effect of the supposed change of leadership in the House on the budget deliberation on Tuesday.
"How can the budget be discussed tomorrow if the issue is who will lead (the House)? That's what the President wants to avoid. So, our call to those who are supporting the President, those who still believe the President, let's give in to the President and to the people," he said.
"In this time of COVID-19, pass first the budget, which will give aid to COVID-19 (response) before you go into politicking. That is if there are still those who acknowledge the leadership of our President. If not, c'est la vie, but 91 percent of the people stand solid behind the President and I think congressmen as political creatures know what that means," he added, referring to the latest result of a survey on Duterte's performance and trust ratings.
Duterte has called for a special session in the House after Cayetano recently suspended it and decided to resume it next month.
Velasco's camp has been insisting that Cayetano should honor the term-sharing agreement that Duterte brokered between them last year. Under the deal, Cayetano would serve as speaker for 15 months or until October while Velasco for the remaining 21 months.
But Cayetano and his allies claimed that Velasco has no support of the majority members of Congress. Celerina Monte/DMS