Sara Duterte says House has ‘strong leader’ in Arroyo

Pia Ranada
Sara Duterte says House has ‘strong leader’ in Arroyo
The presidential daughter congratulates new Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo a day after the House coup some say she helped bring about

MANILA, Philippines – Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio congratulated new Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo after her assumption of leadership in the House of Representatives,  and called her a “strong leader.”

“Congratulations to SPGMA (Speaker President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo). A strong leader,” the presidential daughter said in a message to Rappler on Tuesday, July 24, when asked for comment on the change in House leadership.

The day before, lawmakers ousted then Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez reportedly upon the request of the Davao mayor. Arroyo was elected to replace him.

Lawmakers claimed the feisty presidential daughter had made calls until the midnight before President Rodrigo Duterte’s 3rd State of the Nation Address (SONA) to secure votes against Alvarez.

Her word of congratulations is so far Duterte-Carpio’s only substantial remarks about the ouster. To Rappler’s questions on her involvement in the coup or whether her involvement had the blessing of her father, she responded, “No comment.”

If Duterte-Carpio described Arroyo as a “strong leader,” just a few months ago, she had the exact opposite assessment of Alvarez.

In February, she called Alvarez an “asshole,” “insecure slob” and a “fat sleaze” while openly calling  for members of the House to unseat him.

Duterte-Carpio locked horns with the former speaker, her father’s ally, for supposedly calling her “opposition” and claiming that her regional party Hugpong ng Pagbabago has no blessing from the President.

Alvarez denied he ever made those remarks. – Rappler.com

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Pia Ranada

Pia Ranada is a senior reporter for Rappler covering Philippine politics and environmental issues. For tips and story suggestions, email her at pia.ranada@rappler.com.