DAVAO CITY (MindaNew s/ 23 Feb) – After a squabble stemming from alleged accusation that she is part of the opposition, Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio said on Friday she is willing to sit down with Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, the strongest ally of President Rodrigo R. Duterte in the Lower House, but added there’s no reason for them to reconcile because “we are not friends in the first place.”
Duterte told a press conference organized by the newly created Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP) at the Royal Mandaya Hotel Davao that she has no issues with Alvarez, except that the Speaker attacked her first.
The HNP held a first general assembly on same day at the hotel with around 500 participants from all over the region attending.
“Hindi kami magkaibigan so there’s no need na magbalikan kami as magkaibigan (We are not friends so I think there’s no need to patch things up between us) because we are not friends in the first place,” she said.
Duterte said what irked her were remarks made by the Speaker that she acted alone without the blessing of her father in creating the HNP and that the new regional political party is product of political dynasty.
She urged the Speaker to pass an Anti-Political Dynasty measure.
She said a mayor informed her that the Speaker threatened to take anyone joining the HNP as opposition members. Alvarez later denied saying those remarks.
“Ang sinabi nya na (What he said was) because HNP does not have the approval of the President, whoever joins HNP is opposition,” Duterte said.
Duterte refused to disclose the name of the mayor because he was not around during the first general assembly and “because he is very afraid of Speaker Alvarez.”
Duterte said she personally informed her father that they would form HNP along with four other governors of the region.
“I can very well remember what he said. Sabi nya, kung yan gusto ng governors, okay lang. (He said, ‘if that’s what the governors want, it’s okay),” she said.
Duterte also made it clear that she is not joining Partido Demokratik Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban), nor running under Hugpong sa Tawong Lungsod (Hugpong), a local political party that her father founded.
“For sure, even coming from PDP, there are still conflicts among party members who will run for certain positions,” she said.
Duterte told Alvarez “you messed with the wrong girl” after he allegedly labeled the presidential daughter as a part of the opposition for leading a regional political party.
“Ano sabi mo in a crowd, ‘President iba siya, Speaker ako, I can always impeach him!’ And you call me opposition? Somebody should really tell the President about the truth. Antay ka bukas, I have another story,” she on Thursday.
Duterte said the newly formed regional party has the blessing of her father and even the use of the word “Hugpong,” apparently copied from her father’s “Hugpong.”
“Kung asshole ka sa Congress (If you are an asshole in Congress), don’t bring that to Davao, leave it in Manila. Somebody should tell the President what you are doing. How dare you call me part of the opposition. Kapal ng mukha mo (you are thick-faced),” she added. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)