DAVAO CITY – Mayor Sara Duterte and Senator Sherwin Gatchalian met on Friday at the Waterfront Insular Hotel, which is owned by the legislator’s family.
The mayor and Gatchalian, who has been among those seeking a partnership with the mayor in running for the national positions, talked for about two hours as they took their lunch.
However, both declined to reveal the details of their meeting to the members of the media. as The mayor confirmed they were talking about politics, “but as to what we talked about, I would not tell (you).”
She added that among the reasons she met the senator was to thank his family “of their big help to Davao City,” citing the vaccination program at the hotel, which the Gatchalian family owns, as it has used its resources for the program.
Gatchalian also thanked the city government and the tourism sector of the city “for the (vaccination program) partnership as about 90% of the employees were vaccinated.”
He pushed for the industry to implement a “bubble” which will allow those who are vaccinated, employees and customers, to visit tourism establishments to ensure that the economy continues to recover.
On the other hand, Duterte also confirmed the statement of Mayor Maria Esperanza Christina G. Frasco of Liloan, Cebu that she and her brother, Vice Mayor Sebastian Duterte, are both seeking reelection.
This doused cold water to the continued call for Duterte to run for president even as she named Frasco as her personal spokesperson last month when she started her consultation on whether there was a strong support for her presidential candidacy.
In an earlier statement, Duterte said Gatchalian was one of the two who presented themselves to be her running mate if she decides to run for president. The other one was the longtime assistant of President Rodrigo Duterte, Sen. Christopher Lawrence Go.
Although nominated by the Partido ng Demokratiko ng Pilipinas-Lakas ng Bayan as its presidential candidate in the upcoming elections, Go has so far rejected the nomination.
Others who have been named as possible tandem of the mayor if she decides to join the presidential derby are former senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr., former Defense secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr., Tacloban Rep. Martin Romualdez and President Duterte.
Unlike Go, President Duterte has accepted the nomination of his party, prompting the mayor to announce that she will not run for president but will just seek reelection.
Despite her announcement, the mayor’s supporters have continued to push for her to run. They even established a new movement, the Hugpong Para Kay Sara, which was spearheaded both by her supporters and those supporting her father.
In an earlier interview, former Davao del Norte governor Anthony del Rosario, chair of the newly formed group and spokesperson of the mayor’s regional party, the Hugpong ng Pagbabago, said the new group is seeking more members to eventually convince both the mayor to run for President and her father to abandon his plan to run for vice president.
In abandoning the call for her to run for President, the mayor said it is the agreement within the family that only one member will run for a national position.
Managing Editor at Mindanao Times
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