President Rodrigo Duterte will announce next week the House Speaker he is rooting for, according to a lawmaker who was in the Malacañang dinner for the incoming congressman.

Wilton Kho, elected Masbate Representative, stated that the President has something to say to them on June 28.

“May pahiwatig siya na may ineendorso pero syempre hindi niya rin sinasabi kung sino (He’s giving hint that he will endorse someone, but, of course, he was not saying who is that person),” he said.

Duterte’s previous statement about speakership race

Duterte had said before that he will not meddle in the speakership race. He had previously said that he is leaving the picking of the next leader to the House.

However, during the Palace dinner organized by his son, Paolo Duterte, Davao City Representative, President Duterte foreshadowed otherwise. One hundred twenty five incoming lawmakers attended the event, including two Speaker aspirants: Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Jay Velasco and Pampanga 3rd District Rep. Aurelio “Dong” Gonzales.

The Palace Dinner concurrents with Clark meeting

Kho also received an invitation to the meeting of 30 lawmakers in Clark Pampanga organized by Taguig-Pateros Representative-elect Alan Peter Cayetano, who is also gunning for Speaker.

But, Kho skipped the Clark event in support of the Malacañang dinner, to which Public Works Sec. Mark Villar and Finance Sec. Carlos Dominguez attended instead of the dinner in the Palace.

Concurrently, Navotas Rep-elect John Rey Tiangco uttered that his attendance at the Palace dinner tells who’s his bet to be the new Speaker.

Ako, committed na ako kay Congressman Lord (I am already committed to Congressman Lord,)” he said.

Mikee Romero, 1-PACMAN party-list Rep, who heads the 54-member party-list coalition, also attended the Malacañang dinner.

The party-list coalition has said that it will support whoever Duterte endorses as Speaker. This party is the second largest voting bloc in the House next to the administration party PDP-Laban.

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