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Duterte-De Guzman battle looms in Davao City in 2001 elections

() - November 21, 2000 - 12:00am
DAVAO CITY — Battle lines have apparently been drawn between first district Rep. Rodrigo Duterte and his former close political ally, Mayor Benjamin de Guzman, who are seen to be the fiercest rivals in next year’s mayoral elections here.

De Guzman has openly admitted his desire to seek reelection, while Duterte also expressed his intention to re-occupy the mayoral post which he held for three consecutive terms until 1998.

"It will be one of the most exciting and interesting political exercises that we are going to see in Davao City. We have to see how developments unfold in the next few weeks and until the elections. It could be messy, but hopefully, not bloody," said a local political analyst, who requested anonymity because he is close to both Duterte and De Guzman.

The two former allies have not only been exchanging tirades and calling each other names lately, but have also split the Alyansa sa Katawhan sa Dabaw, the political party they formed in 1998.

Duterte, acknowledged founder of Alyansa, officially announced early last week that he was bolting the party, along with a number of councilors. The remaining party members subsequently voted De Guzman as chairman.

De Guzman served as Duterte’s city administrator for six years until Duterte urged him to be his running mate in the 1995 mayoral elections.
In 1998, De Guzman ran for mayor, while Duterte sought the city’s first district congressional seat. Both won the elections.

In spite of their political differences, Duterte and De Guzman still share one thing in common.

Almost at the same time on the night of Nov. 2, the two bolted the administration’s Lapian ng Masang Pilipino (LAMP) and called for President Estrada’s resignation.

Duterte was among those who signed the impeachment complaint against Mr. Estrada. De Guzman, on the other hand, gave up his post as president of the Confederation of Mindanao Governors and City Mayors after he bolted LAMP.

ALYANSA CONFEDERATION OF MINDANAO GOVERNORS AND CITY MAYORS DAVAO CITY DE GUZMAN DUTERTE DUTERTE AND DE GUZMAN GUZMAN MASANG PILIPINO
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