MANILA (UPDATE)—Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio on Tuesday denied she had a hand in a text message that has reached congressmen urging them to vote for their personal choice as House Speaker.
In the message showed by a party-list lawmaker, the call was being made because President Rodrigo Duterte was allegedly "set up" by "greedy" Cabinet members aligned with Taguig Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano.
"Not mine and not true," Duterte-Carpio said, referring to the text.
"Kung manawagan ako, sasabihin ko kung sino ang suportahan at hindi basehan sa kagustuhan lang ng botante. Wala po ma-achieve ang ganyan na panawagan na walang objective. Hanapin niyo ang hindi masaya sa term-sharing na congressmen malamang galing sa kanila 'yan.”
During a dinner hosted for former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo at the Manila Hotel Tuesday night, a text message supposedly by Duterte-Carpio circulated among lawmakers, urging them to decide on their own on whom to vote as the next Speaker.
Anak Kalusugan Party-list Rep. Mike Defensor showed a copy of the text message to reporters, which read: "Hi Sir, I have the go signal of Mayor Inday to publish. Kaya Nananawagan siya ngayon sa lahat ng Congressmen na bumoto ayon sa kanilang kagustuhan dahil ang kaniyang ama ay na set up lamang ng mga gahaman na gabinete na kaalyado kay Cayetano. - Mayor Inday."
Duterte, in a statement Wednesday, called on Defensor to "stop sowing intrigue" and name his source.
"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."
Duterte said Defensor 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," she said.
"I have attached the screencap of this conversation with Atty. 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'."
Duterte-Carpio earlier said she is not opposed to Cayetano's bid for House leadership.
"People are fixated on the words 'veiled threat' in my statement. They think maybe I felt threatened. I am not. I am not angry. Nothing. I was just narrating verbatim what was said to me," she said.
Duterte-Carpio said she and Cayetano have patched things up.
"We already had a confrontation about that. I told him I am not angry at him. Sabi ko feelings niya 'yun, walang right and wrong sa feelings ng isang tao," she said.
"Told him also 'wag siya tumingin sa 2022 for me dahil di natin alam ano mangyayari bukas. Baka mahulog ako sa hagdanan at mamatay, useless ang samaan ng loob.” — Report from RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News