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As speakership feud heats up, Duterte appeals: 'Don't drag me into your fight'

As speakership feud heats up, Duterte appeals: 'Don't drag me into your fight'

MANILA, Philippines — As the speakership row worsens in the House of Representatives, President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday appealed to lawmakers to spare him from their infighting and put the proposed 2021 national budget into uncertainty.

“Huwag niyo ako idamay sa away ninyo,” Duterte said in a pre-recorded speech.

(Don’t drag me into your fight.)

“Huwag niyo naman sana sobrahan ang laro sa Congress na ‘yung budget mismo ang nalalagay sa alanganin,” he continued.

(Don’t overdo your play in Congress that the budget is placed into uncertainty.)

According to the President, people will not remember whoever was responsible for the “mess” and will just blame it on the Duterte administration.

“Now you would notice dito sa ating bayan, kung magkaletse-letse, hindi ‘yan sila magtanong kung sino ang may kagagawan o responsable for the mess that we are in right now. Hindi sila magtatanong, wala silang pakialam. Ang maalaala nila, ‘Panahon ni Duterte napakabaho’,” he lamented.

(You would notice in this country, if there is a mess, they would not ask who is responsible for it. They will not ask, they don’t care. But they will remember that during the time of Duterte, it really stinks.)

“They do not mention, ‘Ah ‘yung si Alan, o si Congress o Lord,’ wala. Ang sabihin, administrasyon ni Duterte,” he added.

(They do not mention, ‘Ah, it’s Alan, Congress, or Lord.’ Nothing. They will say it’s the Duterte administration.)

Duterte issued these statements as the speakership struggle between Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano and Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco continued to hound the House of Representatives.

On Tuesday, October 6, after suddenly approving the proposed P4.5 trillion national budget for 2021 on second reading. They are expected to approve the spending measure on the third and final reading when they resume sessions on November 16.

The suspension of House sessions came a week before Cayetano was supposed to turn over the speakership to Velasco on .

Malacañang expressed optimism that the proposed 2021 national budget will be passed on time, but senators said it is “” after Cayetano prematurely put the House on a break.

Based on the 18th Congress’ legislative calendar, lawmakers are supposed to go on a month-long recess starting October 17 and not October 6.

KGA