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Davao mayor, Speaker clash

Word war erupts as Sara resents Alvarez yarn on ‘power to impeach’

DAVAO CITY—Mayor Sara Duterte tore into Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez Thursday after she heard that he had accused her of being part of the political opposition and said he had the power to impeach her father, President Rodrigo Duterte.

“What did you say to the crowd? ‘The President is different, me, I’m the Speaker and I can always impeach him!’ And you call me opposition?” she said in a mix of Filipino and English on her Instagram account. “Somebody should really tell the President… the truth. Just wait, tomorrow I will have another story.”

Commenting on the mayor’s move to create a regional party in Davao called the Hugpong ng Pagbabago, Alvarez reportedly said it “shows how political dynasties are in the Philippines.”

But on Thursday, Alvarez denied accusing the mayor of being part of the opposition, and told a news conference that somebody must have fed her the wrong information.

In a text message, he also said he respects the decision of the President’s daughter to form another political party.

The mayor said the new party, which she heads as chairperson, had the blessings of the President.

She bristled at Alvarez’s comment about political dynasties, saying if he felt strongly about it, he should help pass the Anti-Political Dynasty Law.

“If you’re an asshole in Congress, don’t bring that to Davao. Leave it in Manila,” the mayor said in a separate post on Instagram. “Somebody should tell the President what you are doing. How dare you call me part of the opposition. Kapal ng mukha mo. You messed with the wrong girl.”

She also said the “country would be a better country if Alvarez [were] not the speaker” and that “the President would be a stronger President” if Alvarez was not with him.

She urged her father’s allies to change the speaker.

“I said that the members of Congress should not keep quiet because somebody should tell the President about the truth of what is happening in Congress. And I said that it is within their power to change the House speaker since I am not a member of the Congress.”

She also accused Alvarez of spreading rumors that she had a bad relationship with her father, the President.

The Hugpong ng Pagbabago is led by Mayor Duterte and four governors of the Davao region—Antonio del Rosario of Davao del Norte, Tyrone Uy of Compostela Valley, Nelson Dayanghirang of Davao Oriental and Claude Bautista of Davao Occidental. Only Gov. Douglas Cagas is not a member.

The mayor said HNP, which launches in Davao City today (Feb. 23), does not wish to compete with the ruling PDP-Laban, which her father chairs, since it is only a regional party.

During the City Peace and Order Council meeting Thursday afternoon, Sara opened her statement by calling Alvarez an asshole.

“Sorry I am late. I’m late because of Alvarez, he is an asshole,” she said in front of the members of the police and military here.

Topics: Mayor Sara Duterte , Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez
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