DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/22 May) – Re-elected Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte refused to reconcile with former House speaker Pantaleon “Bebot” Alvarez, who was re-elected to another three-year term as representative of Davao del Norte’s 1st district.
In a statement released on Tuesday evening, Duterte said Alvarez’s offer of reconciliation was deceiving and utterly lacked sincerity.
She said Alvarez was caught on video threatening to embarrass her after he won against Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP)-backed candidate, outgoing Davao Del Norte governor Anthony del Rosario.
She called the former speaker “very dangerous, Machiavellian individual who does not deserve peace.”
“Unknown to him, he was surreptitiously videotaped when he threatened, after his win in the recent elections in Davao del Norte, ‘Ipapahiya ko si Sara’ (I will embarrass Sara),” she said.
The presidential daughter reportedly helped unseat Alvarez as House speakerin favor of former President and Pampanga 2nd district Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
But Duterte said she is not not in a position to endorse who should lead the House and does not intend to influence its members, although she admitted that she has a personal bet.
“It is best if the newly elected members of the House of Representatives individually decide who among those who are interested to become the next Speaker can truly bring good governance and positive change to congress, to the Filipino people, and to our country,” she said.
The mayor said she’s leaving it to her father, President Rodrigo R. Duterte, to decide for resigned vice mayor Paolo “Pulong” Duterte, her brother who will sit as representative of Davao City’s 1st district.
“The question on the interest of Cong-elect Paolo Duterte to vie for Speaker of the HOR should best be addressed by our father because he is the President and our patriarch,” she said.
The mayor also denied endorsing Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez for the Speakership as claimed by Deputy Speaker Prospero Pichay.
“If I did raise his hand during the HNP rally in Tacloban, I did so because he, just like Rep. Lord Allan Velasco, is supportive of the reform agenda of President Duterte,” she said.
She also hit newly elected Taguig Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano, former secretary of Foreign Affairs, who came to Davao not to seek her endorsement for the speakership but to warn her that she “would break up the ‘group’” if she would endorse Velasco.
“He, however, came with a veiled threat, that if I endorse Rep. Velasco for Speaker, I would break up the ‘group’. And this, he said, will affect the presidential elections of 2022,” she said. (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)