Philippine House of Representatives elects Cayetano as Speaker

MANILA (Xinhua) – The House of Representatives of the Philippines yesterday elected Alan Peter Cayetano as the 22nd Speaker of the House at the opening of the 18th Congress.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has earlier endorsed Cayetano’s Speakership. Cayetano, 48, a politician and an ally of Duterte, was Duterte’s defeated running mate in the May 2016 elections.

Duterte named Cayetano as Foreign Secretary in 2017, a year after the May 2016 elections. He resigned in 2018 to run for a seat in the House of Representatives in May 2019.

Duterte said Cayetano will share the term with another politician. Duterte’s spokesperson Salvador Panelo said Cayetano will be the Speaker in the first 15 months. After that, he said a new Speaker will be named.

Before he ran for the vice presidency in 2016, Cayetano was a member of the Senate.

Cayetano has defended Duterte’s policy towards China, stressing the need to dialogue to resolve maritime disputes.

His wife is also a member of the House of Representatives while his sister is a senator.

Senate President Vicente Sotto was re-elected as Senate President.

New House Speaker Allan Peter Cayetano takes his oath during the opening of the 18th Congress at the House of Representatives in Quezon city, metropolitan Manila, the Philippines. – AP