FOR the first time since the election campaign started, Elizabeth Zimmerman on Tuesday came out to support the presidential bid of her former husband Rodrigo Duterte.
Zimmerman is battling stage-3 breast cancer, and for the Byaheng DU30 month-long campaign she asked her doctor to suspend her radiation treatments until the campaign was over.
“I am doing this for the country’s future. We are doing this for change, real change,” she said.
For a month starting Tuesday, Zimmerman will be on board a bus—a Duterte bus—that will travel across Mindanao and the Visayas.
Inday Sara Duterte-Carpio and 20 other volunteers for Duterte will be with her. Inday Sara’s children Sharkie and Stingray are two of the seven children who joined the trip.
Inday Sara said Byaheng DU30 was the brainchild of Zimmerman.
“It was her idea that we go around the Visayas and Mindanao on board a bus,” the mayoral candidate of Davao said.
“She wants to meet the people and answer their questions about Rody.”
When asked about her decision to join the campaign despite her condition, Zimmerman said: “I have already had 15 sessions of the series of sessions. It can wait.”
“All my medicines are in my bag.”
Earlier, when she told her doctor about her plan to join the campaign, there was concern about the radiation sessions she would be skipping.
“My doctor told me I could skip for just a week, but I told him no, I wanted to be in the campaign for one month,” Zimmerman said.
For the 30-day caravan, Inday had also shelved her in vitro fertilization schedule.
Zimmerman was married to Duterte for almost 25 years. But despite the annulment of their marriage, they remained good friends.
When Zimmerman was rushed to the hospital in December because of an infection, Duterte was with her.
It was also Zimmerman who convinced her children to support Duterte’s candidacy.
“We may have been separated but we are friends,” Zimmerman said.
“We may be annulled in the courts but we were married in the church and the Catholic church never annulled our marriage.”
Zimmerman’s bus will stop in the major cities of Mindanao and the Visayas.
Inday Sara said they were expecting that Zimmerman and Duterte would have a “bittersweet” reunion during a sortie, and probably in the Visayas.