Defensor says sorry to Sara

ANAKALUSUGAN Rep. Mike Defensor yesterday apologized to Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio for naming her camp as the source of a text message calling lawmakers to exercise conscience vote during the July 22 election for Speaker.

“I apologized to Mayor Inday Sarah if I have in anyway offended her with my statement. I did not say it came from her or a congressman. In fact, I should not have shown it because reading it again it had Inday Sarah’s name. I did say though that there was another person who got the same message. I apologize Ma’am if I have offended you,” said Defensor.

In an interview at the sidelines of farewell dinner of lawmakers to former Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo held at the Manila Hotel, Defensor said he got the text message from someone who is very close to Mayor Sara.

The text message was received by Defensor after President Rodrigo Duterte named Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez House Majority Leader for a three-year full term under the term-sharing agreement of Taguig-Pateros Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano who will be Speaker during the first 15th months of the 18th Congress to be succeeded by Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco in the last 21 months.

During the interview, Defensor showed the text message to the media, which read: “Hi sir! I have the go signal of Mayor Inday to publish. ‘Kaya nanawagan siya ngayon sa lahat ng mga Congressmen na bumoto ayon sa kanilang kagustuhan dahil ang kanya ama ay na set-up lamang ng mga gahaman na gabinete na kaalyado ni Cayetano.’ — Mayor Inday.”

Sara Duterte vehemently denied the text message came from her and challenged Defensor to name the source of the information.

Defensor clarified that he was referring to the meeting of the Party-list Coalition Foundation Inc., (PCFI) led by 1-Pacman party-list Rep. Mikee Romero when he mentioned the congressman in the interview.