Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Duterte drops by Cebu to see ex-wife on her 68th birthday

“IT wasn’t Mar. It was Binay.”

Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte yesterday revealed this to his Cebuano supporters, telling them it was Vice President Jejomar Binay who was behind the disqualification cases filed against him.

The mayor’s statement came after Binay had warned that he will create a commission that will investigate Duterte and the Davao Death Squad (DDS) for the alleged killings in Davao City.

Duterte was in Cebu yesterday not for a campaign sortie, but to see his ex-wife, Elizabeth Zimmerman, who was celebrating her 68th birthday.

In an interview, Duterte said he recently learned from a “credible” source about the person behind the disqualification cases filed against him.

The source works with the government and the media knows him, he said.

Binay link

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) dismissed all the disqualification cases filed against Duterte last Feb. 3, according to a report from news website Rappler.

Duterte, presidential candidate of PDP-Laban, had three disqualification cases before the Comelec due to a clerical mistake on his certificate of candidacy.

He said he found out that Binay was behind it before the presidential debates.

In national news reports, Binay was quoted as saying that it if he becomes president, DDS and Duterte will be punished for the killings and human rights abuses in Davao.

Sought for comment, Duterte said it should be Binay who should worry if he Duterter gets elected president.

Magkita-kita kami doon. Ikaw plunder, ako (Let’s meet at the prison. You for a plunder case and I for) killing criminals. Now people of the Philippines, mamili kayo: taong ninakaw ang pera bilyon bilyon o taong pumapatay ng kriminal (it’s up to you to choose, a person who stole billions of money or one who killed a criminal)?” Duterte said.

During the interview, Duterte also said that he accepted One Cebu party’s invitation to join them for the proclamation of candidates later this month.

He said he is happy with Rep. Gwendolyn Garcia’s (Cebu, 3rd district) decision to take a leave of absence from the United Nationalist Alliance headed by Binay to support his presidential bid.

“I accept the help extended and I am delighted. I would be here. We will all be talking about politics here in Cebu,” Duterte said.

Although he is leading in recent surveys, Duterte said he is still pressured to campaign hard because he does not believe in surveys.

Ex-wife’s birthday

For her part, Zimmerman said she is not affected by the accusations of human rights abuses and summary killings against Duterte, adding that none of the allegations of his opponents is true.

“Davao will not be what it is today if not for Duterte,” she said.

Zimmerman arrived past noon at Rico’s Lechon restaurant in Lapu-Lapu City with her daughter, former Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, and son Paulo.  They came to Cebu for the Byaheng DU30, a 30-day caravan to campaign for the mayor.

Three hours later, Duterte, who came from Luzon, arrived aboard a private plane with two bouquets of flowers  and a cake for his ex-wife.

After all the guests sang a birthday song for Zimmerman, everyone cheered the ex-couple to kiss. They obliged and kissed each other on the lips.

Duterte quickly ate his lunch past 3 p.m. before entertaining questions from the media.

Along with volunteers of Duterte, San Fernando Mayor Antonio Canoy was also seen at the gathering.

Canoy said he attended the event because he and Sara have been friends for a long time.

“I’m an NPC (Nationalist People’s Coalition) actually. (I am fielding) Grace Poe but Sara and I are friends,” he said.

Sara said she was happy that her father found time to come down to Cebu to greet her mother on her birthday.

“They have been separated for the longest time but they are very good friends,” she said.

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