A supposed coalition of Duterte supporters in Congress, regardless of political affiliations, was created as tension rises in the selection of the new House Speaker.
In a released statement Friday, July 5, the Duterte Coalition reminded all appointed officials to refrain from dipping their fingers in the speakership race as they do not have the mandate to do so.
“It has come to our attention that certain Presidential Cabinet members have their bet for Speaker. Everyone should note that, Cabinet members serve only on the basis of the trust and confidence of the President and should not participate in the selection of the Speaker,” the Coalition said.
It added that only the elected officials, in particular the Congressmen and Congresswomen “are the only rightful electorate for their leader”.
“Let us draw the line to define the independence of the Executive and the Legislative branches of the government,” the Duterte Coalition said.
“As members of the House of Representatives, Hugpong ng Pagbabago and Hugpong sa Tawong Lungsod hope to unite the House. We have created the Duterte Coalition and we wish to invite everyone to join this group of lawmakers who believe in positive change,” the group added.
The group said that the Duterte Coalition is a strategic partnership of dynamic public servants who are committed to institute governance and development reforms that are necessary for the Philippines to secure its rightful place in the world stage of nations, particularly in the Southeast Asian region.
“A special call to be a partner is extended to Congressmen Ferdinand Martin Romualdez, Alan Peter Cayetano, and Lord Allan Jay Velasco. We shall not serve one interest, we will work for all Filipinos. And we begin today,” the Coalition stated.
Signatories to the Duterte Coalition statement are Rep. Paolo Z. Duterte, Rep. Isidro Ungab, Rep. Vincent Garcia, Rep. Corazon Malanyaon, Rep. Manuel Zamora, Rep. Lorna Bautista, Rep. Claudine Bautista, Rep. Sandro Gonzales, and Rep. Anton Lopez.
Rumor has it that the Duterte coalition has already 60% of the members of the Lower House to its side.