MANILA - Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio said Wednesday she bears no grudge against Senator Christopher "Bong" Go.
This was her comment when she was asked about an online report claiming there is a conflict between her and President Rodrigo Duterte's former special assistant.
"This is not true. It seems the source talking does not know me. I do not hold a grudge against Senator Go with regard to his relationship with PRRD. I am not the keeper of the President, he is allowed to have his friends as I am. Why would I be furious about the need for an appointment to see the President, what matters is I see the President. Mababaw itong source na ito," she said.
Duterte-Carpio’s latest comments came after she urged her father and the ruling party PDP-Laban to be accountable with their political decisions for next year's elections.
Breaking her silence on the purported Go-Duterte tandem, Duterte-Carpio said her father wanted her to take Go as her vice-president if she runs for president, even as Duterte said he will run for vice president with Go as president.
"The President very recently personally confirmed to me that he will run for Vice President and Senator Go as president. It was not a pleasant event. I was left with 2 letters endorsed to me by the President for consideration—one note explained why i should endorse the Go-Duterte tandem and the other suggested that I take in Senator Go as my Vice-President," she said.
Speaking up on the Go-Duterte tandem for the first time, Duterte-Carpio said: "I strongly suggest to the President and Senator Go to own up publicly their decision to run as a tandem. If they can confirm it privately, then I do not see the reason why they cannot be candid about it to the public. They should simply present to the people what they can offer to our country and how they can help our fellow Filipinos. I respectfully advise them to stop talking about me and make the reason for them running or not running."
Duterte-Carpio also maintained that she will not make a last minute decision on running for President compared to the way her father did in late 2015.
"I am not a 'last 2 minutes' person. I think, I organize, and I implement accordingly. In the meantime, I refuse to be a political punching bag for a party in complete disarray," she said.
Duterte-Carpio said the public should view her statement from the point of view of a politician.
Duterte-Carpio has not made a final decision on her plans and can run for one more term as Davao City mayor.
She has walked back previous statements against running for president, saying in July that she is considering it. She has also rejected a possible tandem with her father who is barred from reelection as president.
Duterte-Carpio on Wednesday also lashed out at the PDP Laban faction of Senator Koko Pimentel, telling them not to blame her for the division in the ruling party.
"Senator Pimentel and Mr. Ronwald Munsayac should stop blaming me for the sad state of their political party. It is not my fault that no one among you is a leader worthy of the respect of the majority. Do not blame me for the sitcom that your party has been reduced to," she said.
Earlier Wednesday, Munsayac said: "We will repeat our earlier statement that the grassroots members of the party believe that the Go-Duterte tandem is merely a smokescreen/distraction for their real candidate Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte. It's very impossible that the right hand of the President will go against his boss' daughter. This tandem is merely a distraction to shield their "real" candidate from political attacks & to weaken the PDP Laban with this decoy candidacy."
"The Go-Duterte tandem can officially withdraw from the Presidential & Vice Presidential race at any time from the time of filing of certificates of candidacy up to noon time of election day (in order not to be officially considered to have lost the election), and issue very clear and firm orders to their campaign machinery and supporters to vote for Sara Duterte as President instead of him."