By Noreen Jazul
Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte on Wednesday denied sending a text message to congressmen telling them not to be swayed by President Duetrte’s pronouncements and instead vote for the House speaker they really want.
The Davao City mayor’s statement came after Anakalusugan Rep. Mike Defensor showed reporters a text message he received during the appreciation dinner arranged for former House speaker Gloria Arroyo at the Manila Hotel Tuesday.
The text message read:
“Hi sir! I have the go signal of Mayor Inday to publish
“Laya nanawagan siya ngayon sa lahat ng mga Congressmen na bumoto ayon sa kanilang kagustuhan dahil ang kanya ama ay na set-up lamang ng mga gahaman na gabinete na kaalyado kay Cayetano” – Mayor Inday”
Duterte scored Defensor and said the lawmaker should “stop sowing intrigue” and dared him to “name his source to allow people to verify the truth of his claim.”
“Give us the name of the neophyte member of the House of Representatives from whom you received a text message with supposed message coming from me. A responsible individual would have asked me if there is truth to the text,” she said.
The Hugpong ng Pagbabado (HNP) chair added that she was not the one “in panic” before the meeting of candidates for House speaker with President Duterte in Malacañan.
“Rep. Defensor … reached out to me thru Atty. Charo Munsayad. Making last minute requests for Rep. Romualdez to which I said that I will not interfere in that matter,” she added.
“After the meeting, Rep. Defensor reached out again and I recognized that he was trying to light a fire about the term sharing decision that came out of the meeting last Monday. I played dumb to the end of the conversation,” Duterte added.
Atty. Munsayac, in her text messages to the Davao mayor, said she was asked by someone to get the opinion of the latter on the President’s pronouncement on term sharing.
“Di ko naiintidihan ang tanong. Nakita ko sa news, Congressman Martin is majority (leader). That’s a good position na,” Duterte replied.
In another text message, Duterte said she does not to like to meddle in the House speakership race.
Duterte said she will not “cowardly hide behind an alleged panawagan,” if she had anything to say about the President’s pronouncement.
“I reiterate for Rep. Defensor to name his source because I have a reputation to protect and I have the right to confront a person who is spreading disinformation. Otherwise, we can all say that you are your own source,” she said.