Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan shot back at Mayor Sara Duterte’s statement that he doesn’t value a debt of gratitude. Pangilinan expressed his disappointment over Duterte’s recent remarks at him and two other Senators. He stated that he knows how to value gratitude but his duty to the Filipinos and country is more important than any friendship.
He was quoted by GMA saying, “Subalit ang tungkulin natin sa bayan at sa kapwa Pilipino ay mas matimbang sa anumang pagkakaibigan. May hangganan din ang tumanaw ng utang na loob.” [But our duty to the country and fellow Filipinos should outweigh any friendship. There should be an ending to every debt of gratitude. ]
Pangilinan further denied that he is criticizing the government because he has higher political ambitions. He added that it would have been more convenient for him to stay silent but he needs to take a stand against killing of minors and shabu smuggling.
Mayor Sara Duterte slammed three minority leaders who are known to be critics of the President in a Facebook post. She named Senators Kiko Pangilinan, Risa Hontiveros and Antonio Trillanes IV as “fake” and “opportunists.”
Duterte claimed that during the election campaign, Pangilinan had sought the endorsement of the mayor and her father, Rodrigo Duterte.
“Matanong ko lang, nung mga panahon na humingi kayo ng tulong, may isyu ba kayo sa governance ni PRD [President Rodrigo Duterte]? Wala. Ngayon na nanalo na siya? Meron. Hunger Games, Pilipinas: Plastic na, oportunista pa.” [If I may ask, when you were asking for support, did you have any problems with PRD governance? None. Now that he won? There are. Hunger Games Pilipinas: fake and opportunists.”
Duterte mocked the opposition group’s Tindig Pilipinas as they use the popular three-finger gesture from the movie, Hunger Games.