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Sara’s role in Alvarez’ ouster won’t affect executive-legislative ties

MANILA – The relations of the executive and legislative branches of government will not be affected by Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte’s role in the ouster of former House of Representatives Speaker Pantaleon “Bebot” Alvarez, Malacañang said on Friday.

“Hindi naman (It will not),” Presidential Spokesperson and Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo said when asked in a radio interview if the presidential daughter’s action would ruin the Palace’s relations with the House.

Kasi, ultimately whoever suggested the ouster, ang magde-decide pa rin ang members ng Kongreso (Because, ultimately whoever suggested the ouster, it is still the Congress members who decide),” he said.

During Thursday’s 44th Philippine Business Conference and Expo (PBC&E) Concluding Ceremony at the Manila Hotel, President Rodrigo Duterte admitted that his daughter Sara “operated” the ouster of Alvarez more than three months ago.

Talagang ano yan si Inday (Inday is really), so be careful with that woman. She can oust even a Speaker, she operated in Davao. Babae ‘to ha (This is a woman). She operated in Davao as mayor. Tingnan mo nangyari sa Congress, ‘di natanggal si (Look at what happened in Congress, [Alvarez] was ousted),” Duterte said in his speech.

Duterte, however, clarified that he had nothing to do with Alvarez’s ouster despite the former Speaker’s statements last year that he can impeach the President.

“Bebot, he’s a close friend of mine. I will support him. Pero siguro (But perhaps) in… ‘Oh I can also impeach him,’ referring to me,” Duterte said.

“Para sa atin wala ‘yan. Bale wala ‘yan politiko. Bakit mo ako i-impeach? Magkaibigan tayo. (For us politicians, that’s nothing. Why will you impeach me? We’re friends.) That’s the usual answer. You banter around but you know siguro. Ang anak (ko), lalo na ito, bantay kayo dito(My children, especially this one, you watch out),” he added.

Alvarez was replaced by former president and Pampanga Congresswoman Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Despite her impressive standing in the senatorial surveys, Sara has decided to seek another term as mayor of Davao in the 2019 mid-term elections.

Sara’s youngest brother Sebastian Duterte will be her vice mayor candidate while former vice mayor Paolo Duterte will run for congressman of Davao City’s 1st District.

The President said he does not like political dynasties but “we are forced” because the people of Davao voted for them.

An anti-political dynasty provision of “up to the second degree of consanguinity or affinity” has been included in the proposed federal Constitution drafted by the Consultative Committee tasked by Duterte to review the 1987 Constitution.

Duterte, the country’s first president from Mindanao, will serve until 2022. (Jelly Musico/PNA)

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