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Sara to Bebot: How dare you?

/ 07:30 AM February 23, 2018

DAVAO CITY—Presidential daughter and Mayor Sara Duterte on Thursday blew her top over what she said were statements by Speaker Pantaleon “Bebot” Alvarez that she now belonged to the opposition after she put up a regional political party not allied with the ruling Partido Demokratikong Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban).

“How dare you call me part of the opposition?” Sara said in an online post. “You’re thick-faced. You messed with the wrong girl,” the mayor added.

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Sara also reacted to reports alleging that Alvarez had bragged that, as Speaker, he could “always impeach” Mr. Duterte. “If you’re an asshole in Congress, don’t bring it to Davao, leave it in Manila,” Sara said.

Sara’s inclusive group

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Sara had formed the Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP), which counts politicians who were eased out of PDP-Laban by Alvarez in Southern Mindanao.

Sought for comment on Sara’s HNP, Alvarez said in a TV interview that he respected it. Speaking in Filipino, Alvarez said of Sara’s party: “We can see that in politics, there is what we call dynasty. You know that is not appropriate all the time. Even if they are father and child, sometimes quarrels occur. Siblings fight it out in politics. How do we prevent that? They are fighting within themselves.”

In reaction, Sara said if Alvarez “is attacking our effort to do something significant and timely for Region 11 and reducing it as a product of political dynasties, I suggest he pass the Anti-Political Dynasty law.”

Alvarez: I didn’t say it

Sara also threatened to tell “another story” on Alvarez. “Wait until tomorrow,” she said as she urged people close to her father to reveal who Alvarez really is. “Somebody should really tell the President about the truth,” Sara added.

But Alvarez denied he said any of the words attributed to him by Sara, saying the President’s daughter might have fallen for false information.

On impeaching Mr. Duterte, Alvarez said he never said it. “The President has my full support,” Alvarez  said.

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Alvarez said Sara’s forming of another party was a “nonissue.”

Sara, however, issued another statement saying Alvarez’s “latest media statement that he respects the

creation of Hugpong ng Pagbabago or that the unity is a nonissue was unfortunately betrayed by his comment on political dynasties.”

In a press briefing in Bataan province, Alvarez also denied saying the Davao City mayor was now part of the opposition.

But he just shrugged off Sara’s rage. “That’s okay. No problem,” the Speaker said.

In a statement she issued a day before her outburst, Sara—as chair of HNP—said Alvarez should know that her forming of the regional party had the blessing of her father.

“Even the use of the word Hugpong as the name of our regional party Hugpong ng Pagbabago has the President’s approval,” she said. “I also specifically informed the President that I will not join PDP-Laban,” the mayor added.  —REPORTS FROM ALLAN NAWAL, JUDY QUIROS AND DJ YAP

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TAGS: Mayor Sara Duterte, Partido Demokratikong Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban), Speaker Pantaleon "Bebot" Alvarez
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