Sara-Gibo tandem to welcome help from political parties but will not join any – Andaya

Published June 4, 2021, 4:42 PM

by Ben Rosario

That Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte running for president is a foregone conclusion but doing it without joining any of the tried and tested political parties in the country and tapping a running-mate who hibernated for a decade could be novel.

Former Camarines Sur Rep. Rolando Andaya made these revelations a day after he and former Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr. emerged from a long meeting with Duterte, daughter of President Rodrigo Duterte.

“I will let the both of them announce it at the proper time but there exists a possibility that these two will come together in 2022,” Andaya said in an ANC news interview on Friday, June 4.

If the two finalize plans to be runningmates for the two top national posts in 2022, they will not be joining a political party, including the ruling PDP-Laban party headed by President Duterte as chairman.

Andaya, who just had a brush with death following a recent ambush, said he was “the one authorized by Duterte and Teodoro” to talk about what was discussed in Davao City.

“Kung meron mang makapagsasabi ng malapit sa katotohanan, siguro ako iyon. (If there is anybody who can say what is nearest the truth, that’s me)” he said in the TV interview.

Andaya, who was budget secretary at the time Teodoro was defense secretary under the Arroyo administration, accompanied Teodoro and his wife, former Rep. Nikki Teodoro, to Davao City to discuss a number of issues, including the lady mayor’s plans for 2022.

Referring to the political partnership of Duterte and Teodoro, Andaya said this appeared to be the “first tandem to be forged” in connection with the 2022 national polls.

“No political parties needed here,” he said.

Later in another news interview, the city mayor denied she is joining PDP-Laban, pointing out that she already has a political group, the Hugpong ng Pagbabago..

Teodoro is no longer an active member of Lakas-CMD which he used to head as president over a decade ago. One reason he allegedly hibernated from politics was the fact that partymates abandoned his campaign after getting funds from the party.

However, Andaya stressed that while there will be no specific political party that will carry the proposed Sara-Gibo tandem, all groups are welcome to coalesce with the two.

“They will not turn away those who want to help them. That is clear from our conversation,” the former Bicolano solon said.

Asked if Duterte is indeed eyeing presidency, Andaya said: “That is a done deal two weeks ago. She decided (to run for president) but give her the time to announce it in public.”