2 Duterte aides hurt in accident

TWO top campaign aides of Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, including the driver and the aide’s son, cheated death, as the Toyota Fortuner sport-utility vehicle they were riding on turned turtle on Wednesday morning at around 6 at a high-altitude zigzag road in Quezon town while on their way to Valencia City, Bukidnon, to prepare for the speaking engagement of the mayor.

Former Davao City Councilor Peter Laviña, Duterte’s top federalism campaigner; Rico Peligro, campaign leader for Davao provinces; Laviña’s son Eccel Deo; and the vehicle driver luckily sustained only slight bruises.

“No matter how our driver attempted to steer it back, it did not budge and the vehicle skidded to the right and turned 180 degrees. The downward trend pushed the vehicle to turn turtle to the left,” the ex-city councilor posted on his Facebook on Wednesday.

The elder Laviña has slight bruises and swelling in his right eye from a head bump, while his son was unhurt. Peligro has bruises and chest pain.

They went to Laviña Hospital in Valencia City for checkup.

Laviña said they still managed to meet, though late, Bukidnon Gov. Jose Maria Zubiri and Valencia City officials, led by Mayor Sunny Huervas and Vice Mayor Nonoy Laviňa, the hosts of the Listening Tour of Duterte, where federalism for the country is being espoused.

Some quarters tagged Duterte’s tours as preparation for his much-rumored presidential plan.

The location where the vehicle turned turtle is considered as the summit of the highest mountain where a national road traverses on it in zigzag pattern. It affords a commanding view over Bukidnon’s plains and mountains. Meanwhile, it was a homecoming of sorts for federalism and Duterte on Wednesday.

Duterte, who was in Valencia, Bukidnon’s most populous city, on Wednesday, delivered the main address in a forum on peace and order and federalism.

Zubiri and Huervas welcomed Duterte, the emerging political star of Mindanao who surged out of nowhere to a tie for third with Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada in the last Pulse Asia presidential survey.

Duterte, who garnered the support of 34 percent of those polled from March 1 to 7 in Mindanao, is a virtual neighbor to the people of Bukidnon, which shares a boundary with Davao City.

Moreover, Zubiri is one of the pillars of the contemporary federal movement in Mindanao who unanimously chose Duterte  to speak for federalism on the national stage.

Duterte is fresh from his whirlwind Luzon sortie that included speaking engagements before bikers in Tagaytay City; cooperative members in Calamba City, Laguna; billboard advertising executives in Manila; his fraternity brothers in Lex Talionis Fraternitas; and an  audience with Lakas Rep. Lani Mercado-Revilla of Cavite and  Bacoor Mayor Strike Revilla.

Cha Monforte

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