President Rodrigo Duterte has declared his endorsement of resigned Cabinet secretary Leoncio Evasco’s gubernatorial bid, said Boy Pernia, chief of staff of Rep. Aris Aumentado, amid uncertainty on who the administration will be supporting in the race for the province’s top government post next year.
“Yes, wala na, siya [Evasco] na g’yud ang gi-endorse. In fact, anhion siya ni Presidente para formally [i-announce] sa publiko,” Pernia said.
Pernia confirmed that photos of Duterte holding up the hand of Evasco which were posted on Aumentado’s Facebook page were taken on Saturday in Davao City.
“Gipatawag siya, gipangutana lang siya og ‘kumusta imong campaign.’ Silang duhang Bong Go. ‘Tabangi si Bong Go,’ ingana. Mao tong gi-isa niya,” Pernia said.
Evasco will be running against House Deputy Speaker Arthur Yap of the ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan.
Meanwhile, Evasco will be running under the Nationalist People’s Coalition which is being led by Aumentado in Bohol.
Special Assistant to the President Bong Go, Duterte’s most trusted aide, during his Bohol visit earlier this month refused to comment on the issue on who the administration will be supporting in Bohol as both Evasco and Yap are known allies of the President.
According to Pernia, Duterte’s daughter Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio also declared her support for Evasco during the same gathering in the city.
“Ni-adto man pud si Sara. Same day to,” said Pernia on a photo showing Duterte-Carpio also hoisting Evasco’s hand. “Laing room lang si Sara. Pero same [venue] to. They are coming to Bohol to formally proclaim before the public.”
No date has been set yet for Duterte’s purported Bohol visit to officially endorse Evasco but Pernia noted the possibility that it will be done during the inauguration of the New Bohol Panglao International Airport next month.
“Posibli na anang panahuna. At the same time, si Sara separate. So mo-anhi si presidente, balikon sila ni Sara,” he said.
Pernia also said that Duterte will be endorsing Evasco’s entire slate including congressional candidates and those running for seats in the Provincial Board.
Evasco’s slate however is comprised of mostly NPC members, not Duterte’s PDP-Laban partymates. (A. Doydora)