President Rodrigo Duterte did not extend an all-out endorsement for his longtime ally Leoncio Evasco, Jr. during the Pundok Tinuod Bol-anon’s miting de avance in Garcia Hernandez on Wednesday night.
This was according to the observation of Provincial Administrator Alfonso Damalerio II, campaign manager of Pundok Padayon Bol-anon which is fielding Deputy Speaker Arthur Yap against Evasco in the gubernatorial race.
“I think mura’g kulang gamay ang endorsement. For me, politically, medyo hilaw. Dili kaayo ngana ka-strong ang gipakita. Naa puy giingon si Presidente na amigo sila sa kaatbang ni Evasco,” said Damalerio.
At one point in his 90-minute speech, Duterte also referred to Evasco’s gubernatorial rival as his “friend.”
He did not name Evasco’s opponent for governor but the reference he made apparently referred to Yap.
“All the ingredients of what an ideal public servant should be or would be for your Bohol, wala nay laing tawo nga momahal ana nga naa diha para sa public service,” said Duterte of Evasco. “Others, well, I don’t know, I don’t want to speculate kay amigo ra ba pod nako,” he continued.
Yap is running under the President’s Partido Demokratiko Pilipino–Lakas ng Bayan while Evasco is a member of the Nationalist People’s Coalition.
However, Duterte said that while he is not forcing anyone to vote for Evasco he believes that his longtime aide is the right man for the job.
“Ngano mangita mo’g lain nga adunay Bol-anon nga andam moserbisyo,” said Duterte.
Evasco has been Duterte’s ally since 1988 when the latter was still starting out with his political career. Evasco later became Duterte’s campaign manager for the 2016 presidential elections and then Cabinet secretary. (R. Tutas)