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Sara Duterte respects Floirendo’s decision to dump Pimentel from HNP slate in Davao del Norte

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By JOHN CARLO M. CAHINHINAN

DIGOS CITY, Davao del Sur – Davao City Mayor and Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP) chair Sara Duterte said she respects the decision of party honchos in Davao del Norte to ditch reelectionist Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III from their Senate slate.

Mayor Duterte’s statement came after Davao del Norte second district Rep. Antonio “Tony Boy” Floirendo Jr. and his cousin incumbent Gov. Anthony del Rosario hinted that they will not campaign for the former Senate President in their province.

In an ambush interview in Digos City, Davao del Sur, the Presidential daughter stressed that her party acknowledges the Floirendo and del Rosario clans’ right to choose their preferred candidates and understand the political situation in their bailiwick.

“Meron talagang areas na sinasabi ng mga local partner naming kung sino lamang ang puwedeng tulungan,” she said.

According to Mayor Duterte, there is no binding contract between HNP and their partners including the 13-man senatorial lineup being endorsed by her entity.

Pimentel, president of the ruling PDP Laban, reportedly signed Floirendo’s expulsion papers from the administration party back in 2017, allegedly upon the recommendation of the party’s secretary-general and Floirendo’s estranged friend, former House Speaker and reelectionist Davao del Norte first district Rep. Pantaleon “Bebot” Alvarez.

Mayor Duterte and Floirendo were the supposed masterminds of the successful House coup last year which led to the ouster of Alvarez from the Speakership.

Alvarez, who is seeking reelection as legislator of Davao del Norte’s first congressional district, will be battling del Rosario, the HNP secretary-general this coming May.

Both Del Rosario and Floirendo were founding members of Mayor Duterte’s regional party.

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