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Sara denies text rejecting Cayetano

July 11, 2019

Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio on Wednesday denied having a hand in a text message allegedly sent by her camp to legislators urging them to vote for whoever they want for speaker, defying the wish of her father President Rodrigo Duterte.

Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio

The denial came after Anak Kalusugan party-list Rep. Michael “Mike” Defensor confirmed receiving a text message on Monday night from someone “very close” to Duterte-Carpio, saying the President was “set-up by greedy Cabinet members” allied with Taguig Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano, whom the Chief Executive earlier announced will share terms with Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco.

In a statement, Duterte-Carpio called on Defensor to “stop sowing intrigue” and “to name the source in his pronouncements 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 a supposed message coming from me. A responsible individual would have asked me if there is truth to the text,” she said.

“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,” the mayor added.

Defensor later on Wednesday apologized to Duterte-Carpio for “dragging her name” in the speakership race

On Wednesday morning, he clarified that the “anti-Cayetano” text message he showed to the media was neither from Duterte-Carpio nor a congressman.

Without naming names, he earlier said it was from the mayor’s “ally.”

“I [apologize] to Mayor ‘Inday’ Sara if I have in any way offended her… I did not say it came from her or a congressman… I did say, though, that there was another person who got the same message. I apologize, ma’am, if I have offended you,” Defensor added, referring to the mayor by her nickname.

A supporter of former speaker hopeful Rep. Martin Romualdez of Leyte, he admitted that he had been trying to approach Duterte-Carpio to make a last-minute request prior to the Cayetano endorsement.

“As for continuedly [sic] asking Mayor Inday Sara through attorney Charo Munsayac, I admit to this fact.

I didn’t want to bother attorney Charo, who is my lawyer and a good friend of the mayor,” Defensor said.

“The speakership fight has left me and many of my colleagues confused and nonplussed on the matter,” he added.

Duterte-Carpio said she was not in “panic” hours before the President met the candidates for speaker in Malacañang.

Her father endorsed Cayetano for speaker, under a term-sharing setup with Velasco.

Duterte-Carpio said it was in fact Defensor who reached out to her and made “last-minute requests” for Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez, to which she said she “will not interfere in the matter.”

“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 end the conversation,” the Davao mayor said.

“I have attached the screen cap[ture] of this conversation with attorney Munsayac as proof of my claim.

Should I have anything to say about what happened on July 8, I will not cowardly hide behind an alleged ‘panawagan,’” she added, referring to ruling party Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) spokesman Ronald Munsayac.

The PDP-Laban earlier chose Velasco as its candidate for the speakership race over Cayetano, Romualdez and Davao del Norte Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez.

Duterte-Carpio and her brother Davao Rep. Paolo Duterte, meanwhile, formed the “Duterte Coalition” in the House of Representatives with eight other Davaoeño lawmakers to support Davao Rep. Isidro Ungab’s bid for speakership.

With reports from GLEE JALEA

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