DIGOS CITY—Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio on Tuesday downplayed the rift among her allies, as she tried to juggle her alliances with opposing political figures in both the local and national scenes.
Duterte-Carpio, chairperson of the regional party Hugpong ng Pagbabago supporting the candidacies of 13 senatorial bets, said she understands if her allies in Davao del Norte, led by incumbent Gov. Anthony del Rosario and 2nd District Rep. Antonio “Tonyboy” Floreindo, would not back reelectionist Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III.
“Mayroon talagang mga areas na sinasabi ng mga local partners namin na sinasabi nila kung sino lang ang pwedeng tulungan sa mga candidates ng HNP,” Duterte-Carpio told reporters on the sidelines of HNP’s campaign sortie in this city in Davao Del Sur.
Duterte-Carpio said HNP does not require its local parties to endorse its full slate.
“We leave it to them, because mayroon naman kasi talagang democracy especially sila ang nakakaalam kung sino ang mga nakatulong din sa areas nila,” she said.
Duterte-Carpio gave this statement when asked to react to Floirendo, the top campaign donor of President Rodrigo Duterte, dropping hints that he would not back Pimentel’s candidacy.
Floirendo’s rift with Pimentel, president of the ruling party PDP-Laban, started after he was expelled from the party for supposedly violating its rules. His expulsion from the party was supposedly made upon the suggestion of his fierce rival, Davao del Norte 1st District Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez.
Duterte-Carpio also had a rift with Alvarez for calling her a part of the opposition when she formed a separate regional political party. She is widely regarded as the one who orchestrated Alvarez’s ouster as Speaker.
Alvarez is seeking reelection and is running against Del Rosario, Floirendo’s cousin and the secretary-general and one of the founding leaders of HNP.
“I’m running for congressman against him (Alvarez), right? If he was really an ally [of President Duterte], it would be easy for them to tell me not to run,” Del Rosario told reporters on the sidelines of HNP’s campaign sortie in Tagum, Davao del Norte on Monday, April 15.
“I’m on my first term for governor. I could have run for second term pero hindi ganoon ang nangyari.”
Del Rosario’s brother, Rodolfo Jr., is running for governor against Edwin Ignacio Jubahib, who belongs to Pimentel’s PDP-Laban.