No Sara Duterte endorsement for Floirendo speakership bid in Tagum rally
Presidential daughter Sara Duterte made no reference to Antonio “Tonyboy” Floirendo as “next Speaker” in the Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP) rally held in his province of Davao del Norte on Monday, April 15.
This is in stark contrast to Sara's support for the speakership bids of Marinduque Representative Lord Allan Velasco and former Leyte Representative Martin Romualdez. In events in their provinces, the Davao City mayor explicitly expressed support for their bids.
She had later on also said she and HNP are supportive of another prospective House speaker, former foreign secretary Alan Peter Cayetano, who is running for Taguig-Pateros representative.
When Sara arrived at the Tagum rally, many waited for her to raise Floirendo’s hand and refer to him as another possible Speaker. But her speech came and went without mentioning it. She left the rally after her speech and photo-taking onstage.
Davao del Norte Governor Anthony del Rosario endorsed the speakership bid of Floirendo, his cousin, earlier in the same rally. Del Rosario is running for 1st District representative, challenging the reelection of Pantaleon Alvarez, Floirendo’s nemesis.
Del Rosario, who is also HNP Secretary-General, told Rappler after the event that the regional party and Sara support a Floirendo speakership, as they support the bids of other allies.
“Mayor Sara and I have talked about that. As of today, the position of Mayor Sara and Hugpong ng Pagbabago is, all of the people who are interested to run for Speaker and who are likewise supporting the President, HNP will also support,” he said.
“Yes (we support Floirendo), just like we are supporting the Velasco bid, the Romualdez bid, and the Cayetano bid,” he added.
Romualdez also supposedly expressed his intention to withdraw from the speakership race and support Floirendo instead.
“Martin has expressed that he will withdraw from the race in favor of Tonyboy, so now we’re down to 3,” Del Rosario told Rappler.
Floirendo shrugged off Sara’s non-mention of his speakership bid in a brief interview with reporters on the sidelines of the Tagum rally.
He surmised that Sara may not have mentioned his speakership bid because he had yet to discuss it with her.
“Wala naman (Not expecting it yet), we haven’t talked about it kasi the other day pa naman 'yun (because I announced it just the other day),” said Floirendo.
Floirendo himself was supposed to host Sara and HNP with a rally in Panabo, scheduled to take place on Monday, after the Tagum rally.
But HNP staff said this rally was canceled after organizers decided Floirendo and his supporters could just join the Tagum rally given the good ties between his family and the Del Rosarios. – Rappler.com
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