The office of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on Thursday, No. 11 denied reports that she and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio were scheduled to meet in the resort island of Balesin.
“Former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is not meeting with Mayor Sara in Balesin.,” said Kris Sunga, a staff in Arroyo’s office.
Arroyo’s office did not offer any other details. Neither did it clarify whether or not the said meeting was mere speculation concocted by political interest groups after Duterte decided to withdraw her candidacy for re-election in next year’s local polls.
The rumors that spread like wildfire in the social media also claimed that congressmen will also be attending the meeting.
The senior staff of House Majority Leader and Lakas-CMD president Martin Romualdez said they knew nothing about the supposed meeting.
Political scuttlebutt has it that Arroyo, chairperson emeritus of Lakas-CMD, and Duterte were supposed to meet for the latter to seek advice from the former president on her reported intention to seek a national position in 2022.
It will be recalled that Lakas-CMD secretary general and Rep. Prospero Pichay has admitted that the political party had fielded a placeholder as its presidential candidate.
Pichay’s admission, which he later denied, has triggered speculations that Duterte will still join the presidential race notwithstanding her numerous public declarations that she will merely run for reelection in Davao City.
Under election laws, the Commission on Elections may still allow substitution of candidates for the 2022 elections on or before November 15.