Duterte flies to Cebu for thanksgiving party with supporters
CEBU CITY — President-elect Rodrigo Duterte flew to Cebu on Wednesday to join in the thanksgiving party organized by a private group that helped him in his successful presidential bid.
Incoming Cabinet secretaries, bloggers and businessmen were among the 280 guests expected to join the private party at the Cebu Country Club along the Governor Mariano Cuenco Avenue in Barangay Banilad, Cebu City. It was supposed to start at past 6 p.m.
They included incoming Secretaries Alfonso Cusi of Energy and Vitaliano Aguirre III of Justice, incoming Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano and former Cebu Governor Emilio “Lito” Osmeña.
The other guests included local businessmen like Chito Clavano and Johnny Paras, the Veloso clan and the Duterte family, said Jonjie Gonzalez of the Bisaya Napud Movement.
Although the Duranos of Danao were related to the incoming President-elect, Gonzalez said only those who helped in the campaign were invited to the event like Osmeña.
The Duranos supported the presidential bid of Sen. Grace Poe.
Asked if Osmeña’s cousin, incoming Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña would be attending, Gonzalez just laughed and did not confirm anything.
Tomas Osmeña also declined to comment if he would attend Duterte’s thanksgiving party. But his staff member told GMA-7 news team that the incoming mayor and his wife, acting Cebu City Mayor Margot Osmeña would attend the party.
Although he supported Liberal Party’s Mar Roxas for president in the last election, Tomas Osmeña has said he and Duterte are good friends.
Gonzalez said the two-hour event would not be open for media coverage and would be a private gathering of individuals who pushed to have a Bisaya in Malacañang.
“There will be Cebu lechon definitely. We will be serving wine. There will be a short entertainment,” he told the Philippine Daily Inquirer in a phone interview.
“It will be an informal affair. Basta private affair lang. No media,” he added.
Among the performers would be the incoming President’s son, Sebastian Duterte, Cebuana singer Anna Fegi, Kurt Fick, first Sinulog Idol Champion Jacqueline Chang, and other Bisaya singers.
Michael Dino, Bisaya na Pud Movement co-founder and incoming Presidential Assistant for the Visayas; and Cayetano, Duterte’s running mate, have been tapped to deliver messages.
But Gonzalez said the party would end after Duterte’s turn at the mike.
“Then there will be a photo-op after the party with the group,” he added.
Bisaya Napud is a private organization that helped Duterte and Cayetano in their campaign last May elections.
Doris Mongaya, Visayas media coordinator of the Duterte Campaign Team and one of the organizers of the One Love, One Nation Cebu organizing team, said another thanksgiving party has been scheduled for June 25, which would be open to all Duterte supporters. The event, expected to draw thousands, has been set at the Cebu City Sports Center (CCSC), which could accommodate a big crowd, she said.
But nothing was final yet as of Wednesday, Mongoya said.
“This is open to all groups, all supporters, all individuals,” Mongoya said in a separate interview.
During the party, they would launch the Cebu Alliance for Change (#call4change) Movement to serve as a watchdog that would monitor the implementation of the pro-people agenda under the Duterte administration.
Duterte received 1,022,805 votes in Cebu (726,559 votes in the Cebu province and 296,246 in Cebu City) during the May 9 polls.
He was ahead of Roxas by about half a million votes even if the LP standard bearer had the support of most local officials.
After the party, Duterte was scheduled to meet with lawyer Rex Fernandez of the Duterte Campaign Team in Cebu at the Adnama Building along Potenciano Larazzabal Avenue in Mandaue City, Cebu.
Fernandez said that shifting the form of government to federalism would be among the topics that he and Duterte would discuss.
The President-elect will spend the night at the Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort and Spa in Lapu-Lapu City and will fly back to Davao City on Thursday morning, according to organizers of the event. SFM