Mayor Sara Z. Duterte debunked the claim of Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III and Partido Demokratiko Pilipino–Lakas ng Bayan (PDP–Laban) executive director Ron Munsayac blaming her on 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 in a statement released on Wednesday.
In an interview over ABS-CBN News on August 10, Munsayac said that Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go and President Rodrigo Duterte’s tandem is a “smokescreen” for Sara Duterte’s presidency.
Munsayac claimed that Go will eventually back out of the presidential race and give way to Sara, which in turn, will leave out other PDP-Laban candidates.
Pimentel, on the other hand, told PDP-Laban members supporting outsiders to leave the party.
“I am not a ‘last two 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,” Mayor Sara said.
She also disclosed that her father President Duterte personally confirmed to her that he will run for vice president and Senator Go as president.
“It was not a pleasant event. I was left with two 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 Senator Go as vice-president,” Mayor Sara said.
She suggested to President Duterte and Go to publicly own their decision to run as tandem and simply present to the people what they can offer to the country and how they can help the Filipinos.
“If they can confirm it privately, then I do not see the reason why they cannot be candid about it to the public. I respectfully advise them to stop talking about me and make me the reason for them running or not running,” Mayor Sara said.
For his part, Go reiterated he is not keen on running for the presidency.
“My position has not changed. I am still not interested in running for President. And as I have said before, if Mayor Sara runs, I will support her,” Go said in a statement on Wednesday.
“I have said even before that whatever the decision of the Dutertes, I will support them. For now, let us just wait for their final decision,” he said in Filipino.
And as chair of the Senate Committee on Health, Go said he will continue to focus on helping the government and the Filipino people to end the pandemic in the soonest possible time.
“Vaccination first before politics,” he said in Filipino.