By Antonio L. Colina IV
Davao City – Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio said that while she was willing to talk with Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, one of the strongest allies of her father President Rodrigo R. Duterte, there was no reason for them to reconcile, saying “we are not friends in the first place.”
“Wala naman talaga akong problema sa kanya. I think sya ang may problema sa akin kasi sya naman nagsisimula na mag atake sa akin. Hindi kami magkaibigan so there’s no need na magbalikan kami as magkaibigan (I don’t have a problem with him. I think it’s he who has a problem with me because he attacked me first. We are not friends so I think there’s no need to patch up things between us), because we are not friends in the first place,” she said.
During the press conference of Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP) at the Royal Mandaya Hotel Davao on Friday, Duterte took exception to remarks reportedly made by Alvarez that she did not ask the permission of her father when she co-founded HNP together with the four of the five governors of the Davao region.
“Ang sinabi nya na (What he said was) because HNP does not have the approval of President, whoever joins HNP is opposition. It’s either kaming dalawa nung mayor na kinausap nya ang nagsisinungaling or sya (It’s either the mayor and I lied or it was him who lied),” she said.
Duterte refused to disclose the name of the mayor who had supposedly talked to Alvarez “because he is very afraid of Speaker Alvarez.”
In a social media post on Thursday, Duterte told Alvarez “you messed with the wrong girl” after he labeled the presidential daughter as an opposition for leading a regional political party, Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP).
Meanwhile, Duterte maintained that there will only be two options for her in next year’s mid-term elections – either to seek reelection or make a run for a seat in the House of Representatives.
“Everything is up in the air right now. Two lang naman ang papuntahan ko (There are only two things for me choose), definitely not senator. It’s just city mayor or congress,” she said.
Duterte chairs HNP, which she co-founded with the four governors in the Davao Region. Davao Occidental’s Claude Bautista is the party’s president, Davao Oriental’s Nelson Dayanghirang, vice president; Davao del Norte’s Antonio del Rosario, secretary-general; and Compostela Valley’s Jayvee Tyron Uy, treasurer.
Only Davao del Sur ‘s Douglas Cagas did not join the HNP among the governors in Region 11. Duterte pointed out that Cagas was welcome to join the regional party.
The mayor said she will no longer run under Hugpong sa Tawong Lungsod (Hugpong), a local political party that her father founded.
But she pointed out that there was no conflict in leading HNP, which is a regional political party, and Hugpong, which only has a local scope.
“Hugpong sa Tawong Lungsod of Davao is a local party. We did not touch Hugpong and their local parties, as well in their respective provinces. But the agreement is, when we run, we run under HNP. (And) if there are local parties, they will run under HNP,” she said.
Duterte said she asked permission from the President before they created HNP.