HOUSE Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez denied saying that Davao City Mayor and presidential daughter Sara Duterte-Carpio is part of the opposition following the creation of a regional political party in Davao.
Alvarez, secretary-general of the ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) party, said he was confident that he would be able to iron out the issue with Duterte-Carpio.
He said he supports President Rodrigo Duterte, who ran and won as president under the PDP-Laban banner in 2016, and will continue to support him.
During a PDP-Laban event in Bataan on Thursday, Alvarez told reporters: "Alam mo, sa totoo lang, wala talaga akong sinabing ganyan. Hindi ko alam kung saan nanggaling yung kuwento na iyan, pero wala akong sinasabi na part of opposition (The truth is I did not say anything like that. I do not know where that came from)."
Alvarez said someone might have fed wrong information to Duterte-Carpio.
"Paano naman… paano magiging part ng opposition, administration nga siya? Baka mali lang yung… mayroon lang nagsabi na mali siguro. Okay lang yun, walang problema (How can she be part of the opposition when she is with the administration. Somebody must have told her the wrong information. But that is okay. It should not be a problem)," he said.
The conflict between Duterte-Carpio and Alvarez erupted when the Davao mayor spearheaded the creation of regional party Hugpong ng Pagbabago in Region 11, instead of joining PDP-Laban.
Duterte-Carpio said the new regional party has the blessing of the President.
"I would like everyone to know, including the Speaker of the House, that the unity I forged with the four governors of Region 11 has the blessing of President Rodrigo Duterte," she said in a statement.
"Even the use of the word Hugpong as the name of our regional party Hugpong ng Pagbabago has the President’s approval," she added.
She said she had also told her father that she will not join PDP-Laban.
Alvarez was quoted in an ABS-CBN report as saying that the creation of the regional party was a non-issue, but added that this shows how prominent political dynasties behave in the Philippines, insinuating that there might be a problem between the mayor and her father.
"Kahit na mag-ama yan, kahit na minsan hindi tayo nagkakasundo, magkapatid naglalaban sa pulitika, paano natin pigilin yun? Sila mismo naglaban-laban 'di ba? Ito namang sa kaso noong pagtatag ng partido ni Mayor Sara ay talaga namang pupuwede yun, di ba? So, igalang na lang natin talaga," the full quote stated.
In a post in social media, the presidential daughter called Alvarez an "a***le."
"Kung a***le ka sa Congress, don't bring that to Davao, leave it in Manila. Someone should tell the President what you are doing. How dare you call me part of the opposition. Kapal ng mukha mo, you messed with the wrong girl," Duterte post read.
In another post she said: Ano sabi mo in a crowd, "President ba siya, speaker ako, I can always impeach him!" And you call me opposition? Somebody should really tell the President about the truth. Antay ka bukas, I have another story."
In her statement, Duterte-Carpio said the Speaker's declaration that the creation of the new party is a non-issue "was unfortunately betrayed by his comment on political dynasties."
"If the Speaker 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," she added. (SunStar Philippines)