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Rep. Defensor apologizes to mayor Duterte over controversial text message

Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio shakes the hand of the Commander of the Honor Guards as she stands in behalf of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte during the 122nd anniversary commemorating the martyrdom of Dr. Jose P. Rizal, held at the Rizal Park in Davao City on December 30, 2018. KARL NORMAN ALONZO/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

Anak Kalusugan Partylist Rep. Michael ‘Mike’ Defensor issued on Wednesday, July 10, an apology to Presidential daughter and Davao City mayor Sara ‘Inday’ Duterte-Carpio.

The congressman apologized for showing a text message to reporters on Tuesday, July 9, that cited mayor Duterte. He said that it was wrong of him to drag her to the issue.

I apologized to Mayor Inday Sara if I have in any way offended her with my statement. I did not say it came from her or a congressman,” Defensor said in a statement.

In fact, I should not have shown it because reading it again, it had Inday Sara’s name. I did say though that there was another person who got the same message. I apologize, Ma’am, if I have offended you,” Defensor added.

The text message stated that mayor Duterte wants members of House of Representative to vote based on their conscience for the House Speaker race, since his father, President Rodrigo Duterte, got set-up by allies of Taguig-Pateros Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano in the Presidential Cabinet.

Hi sir! I have the go-signal of Mayor Inday to publish. ‘Kaya nanawagan siya ngayon sa lahat ng mga Congressmen na bumoto ayon sa kanilang kagustuhan dahil ang kanya ama ay naset-up lamang ng mga gahaman na gabinete na kaalyado ni Cayetano.’ — Mayor Inday,” the text message read.

President Duterte endorsed on Monday, July 8, a term-sharing agreement between Cayetano and  Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco for the Speakership position in the Lower House of the 18th Congress. Prior to announcing his endorsement, the Chief Executive met with the two congressman.

Earlier, Mayor Duterte issued a statement calling for Defensor to name the source of the text message so that people can verify the truth of his claims.

She also asked the congressman to stop sowing intrigue and insisted that a responsible individual would have asked her on the veracity of the text. Mayor Duterte said she would not cowardly hide behind an alleged appeal if she had anything to say about what happened on Monday

I reiterate for Rep. Defensor to name his source because I have a reputation to protect and I have the right to confront a person who is spreading disinformation,” mayor Duterte said in her statement.

Otherwise, we can all say that you are your own source,” she added.

Mayor Duterte also revealed that Defensor attempted to reach her before and after President Duterte met with Cayetano and Velasco.

People should know that it was not I who was in a panic hours before the meeting in Malacañan was supposed to happen. In fact, it was Rep. Defensor who reached out to me thru Atty. Charo Munsayac. Making last minute requests for Rep. (Martin) Romualdez to which I said that I will not interfere in that matter,” the mayor said.

After the meeting, Rep. Defensor reached out again and I recognized that he was trying to light a fire about the term sharing decision that came out of the meeting last Monday. I played dumb to end the conversation,” mayor Duterte added.

Defensor admitted that he continuously contacted mayor Duterte through atty. Munsayac.

I didn’t want to bother Atty. Charo, whose my lawyer and a good friend of the mayor, as regards political concerns but the turn of events on the speakership fight has left me and many of my colleagues confused and nonplussed on the matter,” he explained.


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