Gibo endorses Duterte; rift with Nograles worsens
By Jaime Laude
The Philippine Star
DAVAO CITY , Philippines – Any possible reconciliation between Lakas-Kampi-CMD standard-bearer Gilberto Teodoro Jr. and Speaker Prospero Nograles fell through when the House leader went ballistic against the former Defense secretary here.
In a strongly worded media statement yesterday, Nograles described Teodoro’s public recognition of his main rivals – city Mayor Rodrigo Duterte and his daughter Sarah Duterte – as an affront to the party leadership.
Speaking at a huge political rally at Rizal Park here Saturday, Teodoro described before the roaring crowd that the Dutertes were good leaders and good friends of his.
“He (Teodoro) quit on Lakas in midstream and we have no choice but to quit on him also,” said Nograles, referring to Teodoro’s sudden resignation as party chairman.
But lawyer Mike Toledo clarified that Teodoro’s acknowledgment of the Dutertes should not be seen as a form of endorsement.
“It was clear Gibo said that while Mayor Duterte is supporting another candidate, they remain friends. He was very appreciative of the Dutertes during the rallies. He was glad they remain friends despite the fact that they belong to different parties,” said Toledo.
But Nograles would not be pacified.
He said old members of Lakas have already abandoned Teodoro and others will soon follow suit because his (Teodoro) chances of winning are very slim.
To this Toledo declared: “Let’s draw the line on the sand. All those who believe in the candidacy and principles of the party, stay. Those who are no longer aligned with the vision of Teodoro (can go). We would rather have a solid base of supporters than pseudo supporters.”
Nograles is running for mayor against Sarah while the elder Duterte is seeking the vice mayoralty seat.
Teodoro, who was Duterte’s lawyer in the 1990s, said he continues to respect his “true friend” (Duterte) even if he is not supporting his presidential bid.
But Nograles stressed that “Gibo’s support for Duterte means nothing as far as Davao politics or the presidential elections are concerned.”
“It cannot make him win as president because despite their supposed closeness as good friends, the Dutertes are supporting Noynoy and Mar (Liberal Party’s presidential candidate Sen. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III and vice presidential bet Sen. Manuel “Mar” Roxas II),” he added.