MANILA -- Taguig-Pateros Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano is confident he will be elected as House Speaker when Congress opens Monday, Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said Sunday.
Andanar said he believes Cayetano and Sen. Vicente "Tito" Sotto III will sit beside President Rodrigo Duterte when he delivers his fourth State of the Nation Address on Monday.
"Noong Friday kasama ko rin si Cong. Alan Cayetano, nagkaroon kami ng meeting at very confident din naman si Cong. Alan na siya 'yung magiging Speaker. So palagay ko si Cong. Cayetano at Sen. Sotto ang magiging katabi ni Presidente," Andanar told radio DZMM.
(I met with Cong. Alan Cayetano on Friday and he was very confident he will become Speaker, so I think Cong. Cayetano and Sen. Sotto will sit beside the President.)
Cayetano on Friday claimed Davao City Rep. Paolo Duterte has agreed to become his deputy speaker, in what could be an end to speculation that the presumptive Speaker would face a coup on Monday.
Andanar said Cayetano will also attend the breakfast meeting that the younger Duterte will reportedly hold early Monday.
"We will see. I am sure there will be a little drama that we will not expect to happen. Meron talaga 'yan, impossible wala (There will be, it's impossible that there won't be one)," he said.
"Sana wala kasi it steals the thunder from the President eh. 'Yung SONA ay napakahalaga dahil ito 'yung estado ng bansa natin at ito 'yung panahon na nakakausap ng Presidente ang bawat Pilipino."
(We hope there's none because it steals the thunder from the President. The SONA is very important because it is the state of the nation and it is the time when our President could talk to every Filipino.)
Last year, Duterte's 3rd SONA was eclipsed by the power struggle between Davao del Norte Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez and then-Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, who replaced the former as House Speaker after the President's speech.