Presidential daughter and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio kept mum on the issue raised by the camp of gubernatorial bet Leoncio Evasco, Jr. about the pictures of her raising the hand of his rival Deputy Speaker Arthur Yap which were used for posters and tarpaulins.
Duterte-Carpio was in Bohol on Tuesday for a political rally to endorse Evasco’s Tinuod Bol-anon slate at an intersection along CPG Avenue where her father, now-President Duterte, had his campaign sortie for his presidential bid in April, 2016.
Days prior to the event, Evasco’s camp looked forward to Duterte-Carpio’s return to Bohol expecting her to clarify the issue on Yap’s use of the photos for his campaign materials.
Evasco challenged Yap not to take down the posters and tarpaulins for Duterte-Carpio to see the campaign materials herself during her visit. Yap’s camp, in response, said that there was no need for Evasco to challenge them as they had no plans of removing the posters.
However, Duterte-Carpio did not address the issue during the campaign rally as she instead made her endorsements, similar to what she did during her previous visit on March 20.
Duterte-Carpio endorsed the candidacies of Evasco and his running mate Tommy Abapo and the senatorial lineup of her regional party Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HnP).
A local organization supporting Evasco, Alyansang Bol-anon para sa Kausaban (ABAKA), also sent a letter regarding Yap’s posters to Duterte-Carpio last month, but this was reportedly not answered by the presidential daughter. Yap’s camp, meanwhile, said that there has been no correspondence between Yap and Duterte-Carpio regarding the complaints against the campaign materials.
Yap has repeatedly asserted that Duterte-Carpio gave him permission to use their photos for his campaign materials.
He said there were two occasions that he had pictures with Duterte raising his hand—one was during a celebration of his birthday on November 10 last year, and the second was during a private dinner on February 26, 2019.
Yap described his relationship with the Dutertes, including Sara and President Duterte, as “quite deep” as he noted the history between the father-daughter political powerhouse and former President and now House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Yap’s close ally.
“The relationship between Speaker GMA and President Duterte is very deep. Dugay mi nag-uban. Nag-abot pa mi sa Cabinet ni Mayor Rodrigo Duterte at that time when I was with the cabinet as well. And then karon, full support si Ma’am Sara ni Speaker GMA. Sa tinuod ra, kahibaw man ang tanan nga sya ang naglihok sa tanan for the candidacy of GMA mahimong Speaker. We worked on many projects together. Mao nga lawm lawm ang relasyon and taas-taas ang respeto sa usa’g usa,” Yap earlier said.
Duterte-Carpio has long been seen to be behind the ouster of Davao del Norte 1st District Representative Pantaleon Alvarez as House Speaker and his replacement by Arroyo.
Yap is also running under Duterte’s Partido Demokratiko Pilipino–Lakas ng Bayan while Evasco is a longtime member of the Nationalist People’s Coalition.
Evasco however has been an ally of Duterte since he was mayor of Davao City. Evasco was also his campaign manager during the 2016 presidential elections.