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House obeys Duterte, elects Cayetano as Speaker

MANILA, Philippines — The House of Representatives elected Taguig-Pateros Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano as its Speaker on Monday in a win for President Rodrigo Duterte who has tightened his grip on the chamber dominated by pro-administration congressmen.

The Lower House obeyed Duterte’s endorsement with  266 votes votes for the Chief Executive’s running mate in the 2016 presidential elections. Meanwhile, Manila 6th District Rep. Bienvenido Abante Jr. got 28 votes. There was also one no vote and two abstentions Based on House rules, the losing Speaker bet would become minority leader.

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The result of the election dispenses, for now, the talks of a coup earlier floated by the President’s son, Davao City 1st District Rep. Paolo Duterte, who has agreed to take the deputy speaker for political affairs post, according to Cayetano. Paolo’s “Duterte Coalition” was supposed to field Davao City 3rd District Rep. Isidro Ungab.

READ: Paolo Duterte says speaker race far from over, hints at looming coup

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Duterte has endorsed the term-sharing of Cayetano and Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco, a family friend. The former Foreign Affairs Secretary is expected to lead the House for the first 15 months, with Velasco taking over the remaining 21 months.

Meanwhile, Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez, a former Speaker aspirant, would sit as majority leader for the entire three-year term, based on the agreement. Paolo Duterte, Romualdez and Velasco all nominated Cayetano for Speaker. /muf

READ: A day before Sona, presumptive House leaders meet

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