Reporters on Friday pressed for details on the brewing feud between Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio and House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, a day after Duterte-Carpio took to social media to label Alvarez an “asshole” and accuse him of describing her as part of the opposition.
This was in the wake of Davao’s Mayor spearheading the creation of a new regional political party for Region XI – Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP).
The lawmaker, however, denied Mayor Sara’s pronouncements.
In a press conference on Friday, Duterte-Carpio said Alvarez asked someone close to her, a local mayor, to relay this message: “Tell Inday Sara that I will run a full slate for Davao del Norte.”
This was after news about the new regional party spilled out.
In reply, she asked the message bearer to tell the Alvarez that she did not care about their politics in Davao del Norte, and that what she wanted was to strengthen the Davao Region “for progress and development.”
The Mayor added that she would have “no problem” with Alvarez fielding his lineup for the upcoming elections.
“Wala naman talaga akong problema sa kanya. I think siya ang may problema sa akin kasi siya naman nagsimula na mag-atake sa akin (I really have no problem with him. I think he’s the one who has a problem with me because he was the one who started attacking me),” she said.
Asked what compelled her to post her scathing remarks on Instagram, which included her saying, “Kung asshole ka sa Congress (If you’re an asshole in Congress), don’t bring that to Davao. Leave it in Manila. Somebody should tell the President what you are doing. How dare you call me part of the opposition. Kapal ng mukha mo (You have some nerve). You messed with the wrong girl,” she explained that this was because Alvarez supposedly said she was acting alone, individually, without the approval of the President before forming it’s composition, and that the HNP was a product of political dynasties.
On Alvarez’s denial on saying she was part of the opposition, Duterte-Carpio said, “It’s either she and her source are lying, or he [Alvarez] is.”
She added that her source was “very afraid” of Alvarez.
She also noted that she had already talked to her father, President Duterte, who is the chairperson of PDP-Laban, to obtain his green light, and he simply replied, “Kung ‘yan ang gusto ng mga governors, then okay lang (If that is what the governors want, then it’s okay with me).”
Asked about the possibility of reconciliation between her and Alvarez, the Davao City Mayor replied, “We aren’t friends who have broken up, so there’s no need for us to get back together.”
Duterte-Carpio, as chairperson of the regional party, said that any official from Region XI is free to join up.
“So, Speaker Alvarez can join later on?” a journalist quipped. She just laughed.
She also clarified that she won’t be running for senator in the coming elections, and that she is eyeing either the mayorship or a possible run for congresswoman.
The party will be seeking accreditation from the Commission on Elections.
So far, only four out of five provinces from Region XI are represented in HNP. Duterte-Carpio said she invited all governors to a meeting to discuss the new regional party, and Davao del Sur governor Douglas Cagas was not in attendance.
She decided to “not pursue it for now with Davao del Sur” for now and just approach Cagas again once the regional party is formed, since there was already a supermajority, anyway.
The four governors indicated they had brought along most of the mayors, vice-mayors, councilors, and board members of their provinces with them to the HNP.