By NITZ ARANCON
PRESIDENT Duterte has agreed to grace the oathtaking of Cagayan de Oro’s new set of officials led by Mayor Oscar Moreno, Councilor-elect Joyleen Mercedes “Girlie” Balaba claimed Wednesday.
The former Davao-based TV personality, who is widely perceived to be close to Duterte, said the President would either swear in the new set of officials or grace the event as guest of honor and speaker.
Balaba, who held hands with Duterte on stage during a political gathering here before the elections, said she talked with Duterte and extended the invitation before she and other winning candidates were proclaimed by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) Wednesday.
“OK man siya (President Duterte). It’s either siya ang mag-administer sa among oathtaking or siya ang special guest,” Balaba said.
She said she invited Duterte because she was grateful for his endorsement of her candidacy and for supporting the PDP-Laban ticket of Mayor Oscar Moreno that fielded her as one of its candidates.
Balaba said Duterte was unaware of her decision to join Cagayan de Oro politics until she filed her certificate of candidacy for councilor under Moreno’s ticket.
“Ayha ra siya nasayod sa paghuman nako ug file sa akong certificate of candidacy. Ingon siya nga he will support my candidacy,” she said.
She also expressed her gratefulness to Duterte’s daughter Sara Carpio, the mayor of Davao, for endorsing her, and to Moreno for believing in her.
Balaba topped the race for city council seats in the city’s 2nd District with 73,612 votes.
She said she was setting her eyes on the chairmanship of the city council’s committee on women and children, senior citizens or committees for marginalized sectors.
“Gusto nako nga mapa-abot ngadto kanila ang mga national ug local government programs aron kining mga tawhana, mahatagan gyud sa igo-igo nga serbisyo sa gobyerno,” Balaba said.