Sara Duterte hand in House speakership row reflects badly on the President – Lacson

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 1) — The involvement of Davao Mayor and presidential daughter Sara Duterte-Carpio in the power struggle at the House of Representatives is not good for her father, a senator said Wednesday.

Senator Ping Lacson said her hand in the ouster of former House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez — and the election of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to replace Alvarez — "doesn't speak well of the much touted strong leadership of the President."

"Ang take ko lang dito [My take] is, it doesn't show strong leadership on the part of President Duterte," Lacson told CNN Philippines' The Source.

"How could somebody not within the chain of command of the bureaucracy intervene or interfere and influence the goings-on in the House of Representatives?"

Lacson previously slammed the timing and manner of the surprise ouster as "awkward, ugly, low and disgraceful."

Some congressmen tipped CNN Philippines of the ouster plot ahead of the State of the Nation Address on July 23. They said they received calls from Duterte-Carpio asking for their support. The mayor neither confirmed nor denied the allegations.

But she, the House Speaker, and other allies held what Arroyo called a "thank you lunch" meeting at a Quezon City hotel on Tuesday.

Lacson said the event validated Duterte-Carpio's involvement. "It was a thank you lunch. A thank you for what?"

Newly installed House Majority Leader Nonoy Andaya said that several congressmen were considering switching to Arroyo's party, Lakas-CMD. He added that the party could merge with Duterte-Carpio's regional party, Hugpong ng Pagbabago.

Lacson said he was still trying to piece together where this "consolidation" of powers was headed. Apart from Arroyo and Duterte-Carpio's parties, he noted the presence of the Marcos family and the Nacionalista Party under the Villars.

Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos was present during the ouster, and is known for her rivalry with Alvarez ally and former Majority Leader Rudy Farinas.

"We don't know kung ano yung, kung saan ang trajectory nito," he said. "Consolidation ito for what purpose? I don't know."

[Translation: We don't know what or where this trajectory is headed. What purpose does this consolidation have? I don't know.]