PRESIDENT RODRIGO R. Duterte on Monday said he will resign if his son, incoming Davao City 1st District Rep. Paolo “Pulong” Z. Duterte, runs for House speakership.

“My son Paolo, he’s being rooted to run. I will tell my son publicly now, we would have a talk. For the life of me, whether you believe it or not, Inday (Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio) and I, my daughter, we have not talked about politics,” the President said in his remarks during the oath-taking of newly-appointed government officials at the Malacañan Palace.

Addressing his son, he said, “…if you run for speakership, let me know. Kasi kung tatakbo ka, magre-resign ako. Kasi marami na tayo (Because if you run, I will resign. Because there’s too many of us).”

Paolo, however, posted on his Facebook page: “I did not say I want to be Speaker…. May nagkamali na naman [ng] bulong sa tenga mo (Someone whispered wrong information to you again), Mr. President.”

The President also said anew that he does not like seeing his children in politics.

Apart from Paolo and Ms. Duterte-Carpio, the youngest Duterte son, Sebastian, has also just been elected Davao City vice-mayor in the May 13 elections.

“With the vice mayor, anak ko (my child), ‘yung youngest son ko si Baste (Sebastian) and Pulong as speaker, ako ang (me the) Presidente, hindi na maganda tingnan (It is not a good thing to see),” he said.

He said congressman-elect Alan Peter S. Cayetano of Taguig, his former foreign affairs secretary, and reelected Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Q. Velasco had told him that they would run for speakership.

At hindi ako nagbigay ng (And I did not give any) commitment… I will not because there is no way of telling you will win,” Mr. Duterte said.

Others who informed him of their intent to run for speakership, although through intermediaries and not directly, were: Pantaleon D. Alvarez of Davao del Norte and Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez of Leyte.

The President stressed that he will remain neutral.

“Sa speakership, wala akong kinakampihan (I am not taking anyone’s side). I am on my last three terms. Gusto ko lang (All I want is) to do good and if that good is not good for everybody, well I’m sorry. ‘Yan lang ang makaya ko (That is all I can do).”

Meanwhile, the President also acknowledged that he has all sorts of illnesses, including in the “colon.”

At the Philippine Military Academy graduation rites Sunday, Mr. Duterte was visibly not well and skipped some of the traditional ceremonies, but his spokesperson dismissed this saying the President simply lacked sleep. — Arjay L. Balinbin