PDP-Laban members who are reportedly being groomed to succeed House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo include Pampanga Rep. Aurelio Gonzales, Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco and Davao del Norte Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez, a former speaker. 
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Palace: Up to House to choose its speaker
Alexis Romero (Philstar.com) - May 20, 2019 - 8:09pm

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte will not meddle in the race for House speakership, Malacañang said Monday, after a stalwart of the ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan claimed the party is expected to secure the leadership of the chamber. 

Sen. Aquilino Pimentel III, PDP-Laban president, previously said it would be a "crying shame" if the speakership does not go to a member of his party. 

Duterte is the chairman of PDP-Laban, which won 80 out of 234 legislative districts. 

Pimentel, a former senate president, claimed the ruling party has a "deep bench of very capable and very competent party leaders" who are ready to push for the president's legislative agenda.

Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo reiterated that Duterte does not interfere with the affairs of a co-equal branch of government. 

"He (Duterte) does not meddle in the elections in Congress," Panelo said in a press briefing. 

Asked whether he agreed that it would be a "crying shame" if the next speaker is not from PDP-Laban, Panelo replied: "Maybe not. He's not interfering with the functions of both Houses. As far as the president is concerned, the people elected you there, you know what you are supposed to do." 

"We are all workers of the government, everything we do should be favorable to our countrymen and our country," he added. 

PDP-Laban members who are reportedly being groomed to succeed House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo include Pampanga Rep. Aurelio Gonzales, Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco and Davao del Norte Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez, a former speaker. 

Arroyo replaced Alvarez as speaker on July 23, 2018, the same day Duterte delivered his second State of the Nation Address. Duterte said last February that Alvarez was ousted because of the maneuverings of his daughter Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio. 

Malacañang was noncommittal when asked whether the president would support Alvarez's bid to return as speaker. 

"We do not know because the speakership fight is a different story. It’s among themselves," Panelo said.

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES PARTIDO DEMOKRATIKO PILIPINO-LAKAS NG BAYAN PDP-LABAN RODRIGO DUTERTE
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