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It’s Bato’s Turn To Meet Sara

It’s Bato’s Turn To Meet Sara
Photo from presidential aspirant and Sen. Ronald dela Rosa’s Facebook page shows him with Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio after a meeting on Monday, Oct. 25, 2021.

DAVAO CITY – Presidential aspirant Sen. Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa is not bothered that his fellow Dabawenyo, Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, met with another presidential hopeful, former senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr., over the weekend in Cebu City.

“I am not insecure with Bongbong (Marcos). I am confident with myself. I have known Sara (Duterte-Carpio) even when she was young and she knows me… we’ve been together here in Davao for so long,” Dela Rosa told The Philippine STAR.

The mayor was reported to have asked Marcos how the Hugpong ng Pagbabago, the regional party she heads, could help him in his presidential bid among those in Southern Mindanao.

After meeting with Marcos over the weekend in Cebu City, Duterte-Carpio met with Dela Rosa shortly before lunch at Davao City Hall on Monday, Oct. 25.

Dela Rosa said his meeting with the mayor was scheduled long before the Cebu meet-up with Marcos.

“We have been texting even before that and she told me that she was still in quarantine and that she could only see me after she comes out of quarantine. But then she had to fly to Cebu, that was why she scheduled our meeting this Monday,” Dela Rosa added.

Dela Rosa, standard-bearer of administration’s Partido Demokratiko ng Pilipinas-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban), said he reminded the mayor that Nov. 15 is fast approaching.

Dela Rosa’s running mate is Sen. Bong Go, also a very close ally and aide of President Duterte.

Nov. 15 is the deadline for substitution of candidates for the May 2022 elections.

Duterte-Carpio, however, is unlikely to change her mind and is bent on seeking reelection next year, Malacañang said.

“I talked to (Cebu) Gov. Gwen Garcia to find out what they really talked about in Cebu. What Gov. Gwen told me on Mayor Sara’s possibility of running for president was that the ship has sailed,” presidential spokesman Harry Roque said at a press briefing.

“So, Mayor Sara is really running for mayor,” he said.

Duterte-Carpio filed for reelection last Oct. 2 as she said she wants to finish her last term as Davao City mayor. She is facing no serious contender for the position.

“I also told her if she runs for president, it would be for the sake of country and the Filipino people,” the senator and former police chief said.

The mayor acknowledged the advice Dela Rosa gave her in the meeting at city hall.

“Thank you Sen. Bato dela Rosa for your advice and words of wisdom,” Duterte-Carpio said on her Facebook page.?Dela Rosa also posted a picture of the meeting, describing it as a “teaser.”

He denied reports he was sent by the President to see her.?“I went there on my own volition,” the senator, who has a doctorate in development, added.

His social media post garnered thousands of reactions, with one netizen commenting he was a “sure win.”

Others, however, manifested their preference for a Marcos-Duterte tandem.

Dela Rosa earlier stressed that while he is rooting for Duterte-Carpio and is willing to give way to her to be the PDP-Laban presidential candidate, it does not mean he has no resolve in seeking the presidency.

Dela Rosa is widely seen as a proxy or placeholder for Duterte’s daughter, something that the senator strongly denies.

President Duterte in December 2015 substituted for Martin Diño, who withdrew his candidacy for president.

The Commission on Elections said it will accept Duterte-Carpio as substitute of Dela Rosa in the May 2022 presidential race, provided that “the substitution is filed on or before Nov. 15. – With Cecille Suerte Felipe, Paolo Romero, Helen Flores, Sheila Crisostomo