Sara leaves HNP campaign to deal with family issue back home

Published March 11, 2019, 5:39 PM

by Francine Ciasico

By Ben Rosario 

LUCENA CITY, Quezon – Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP) Chairperson and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte will not lead her senatorial candidates in barnstorming opposition bailiwick Bicol region, and will miss the chance to determine how she will be welcomed in the home province of staunch critic, Vice President Leni Robredo.

Davao City Mayor Sara Z. Duterte (HNP / MANILA BULLETIN)
Davao City Mayor Sara Z. Duterte

A “family issue” prompted the feisty local leader to leave for Davao City shortly after personally endorsing the 13-man HNP senatorial lineup in a massive campaign sortie arranged by Gov. Jayjay Suarez and his father, House Minority Leader and Quezon Rep. Danilo Suarez here.

From Quezon, Duterte was supposed to ride her Yamaha big bike to the Bicol region today, starting off with a campaign rally in Daet, Camarines Norte.

“I have to go home, there is a family issue that I have to address,” she told reporters.

Duterte’s younger brother, Sebastian, has been tapped to take her place in leading the HNP senatorial campaign caravan.

The city mayor was quick to point out that her leaving the Bicol campaign trail had nothing to do with her verbal tussle with Robredo.

“No no no. definitely not. Kahapon nag pack up na ang Inday Sara show, my mother told me to stop it,” she stated.

On Sunday, Elizabeth Zimmerman Duterte called her daughter to enjoin her to stop arguing in public with Robredo.

The city mayor heeded her mother’s admonition and announced that she will no longer criticize Duterte in public.

Robredo used to represent Camarines Sur in the House of Representatives. Her late husband, Secretary Jesse Robredo, was one of the more popular local officials of the province during his time.

The Bicol campaign tour covers two rallies in Camarines Sur, one in Pili organized by the Villafuerte family, and in Libmanan town, arranged by Rep. Rolando Andaya Jr.

Sen. JV Ejercito admittted that, while part of Bicol could be considered opposition bailiwick, he stressed that Bicolanos, being supporters of good governance, were expected to give the HNP a red carpet welcome.

“Alam naman nila na tapat ang aming paglilingkod kaya inaasahan namin ang magandang pagsalubong,” he said.

Duterte lauded the Suarez leadership of Quezon province, saying that the governor and his father have outstanding accomplishments that made the province one of the more economically progressive areas in the country.

“Kung ako sana ay taga-Quezon, iboboto ko si Governor Jayjay at Minority Leader Danny sa darating na eleksyon,” she said.