Duterte son threatens coup against speaker


PRESIDENTIAL son and Deputy Speaker Paolo Duterte has threatened to stage a coup against Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano after lawmakers complained of inequitable shares for their districts in the P4.5-trillion national budget for next year.

Mr. Duterte on Sunday said he had sent a message to a group of lawmakers on Viber that he would ask the Mindanao bloc of congressmen on Monday to declare the positions of speaker and deputy speakers vacant.

The Davao City representative said his threat was an “expression of my personal dismay” upon hearing the concerns of his fellow congressmen.

“I leave this issue to the members of Congress as I believe that it is within their rights as elected officials to come up with a favorable solution to an issue that could badly impact the development of their districts and their people,” he said in a statement.

Mr. Duterte said several legislators had reached out to him and “expressed their disappointment and consternation” over the 2021 national budget.

“Most of these concerns shrouded doubts over the process and mistrust of the lawmakers ruling the House, those who are acting as if they are bigger than their colleagues,” he said. “Respectfully, I told them that I did not want to get involved.”

Mr. Duterte said the budget row should be addressed soon “before everything goes out of hand, before it could bludgeon the credibility of the institutions and inflict damage beyond repair.”

This is not the first time Mr. Duterte threatened a coup against Cayetano. He had targeted the speakership last year, but later withdrew his bid and backed Isidro Ungab, another representative from Davao City. — Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza

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