By JOHN CARLO M. CAHINHINAN
Akbayan party-list Rep. Tom Villarin took a swipe at President Rodrigo Duterte for dragging the name of Tourism Sec. Bernadette Romulo-Puyat to the controversial leadership fiasco in the House of Representatives last July.
Villarin said it was unnecessary to drag the name of Puyat to the picture. “President Duterte should have exercise discretion over such privilege communication,” he said.
During Duterte’s speaking engagement at the Manila Hotel on Thursday, the chief executive disclosed that he learned of his daughter Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte’s role in the ouster of then Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez from the tourism secretary.
The President said Puyat bumped into Sara at the restroom of the Lower House during his third State of the Nation Addresd (SONA), wherein, her daughter admitted her role in the ouster of Alvarez.
“Sinabi daw ni Inday (kay Berna)—nagkita sila sa washroom: ‘Tell my father, I’m sorry.’ So I did not know the implication of that. Wala akong… honest to God. Si Inday, ‘yon, minaneuver niya,” said Duterte.
Villarin stressed that the chief executive should just keep that conversation between him and Puyat.
“It was a conversation held in confidence between the two women that should be respected,” said Villarin.
Alvarez was replaced by former President and now Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo during the July 23 House coup d’ etat staged by the Davao City Mayor.