“Pangilinan is my friend at may utang na loob ako sa kanya. Si Inday (Sara), when she was [in] Grade 6, Grade 5, sabi ko: ‘Anak, anong gusto mong birthday gift?’ Sabi niya ‘gusto ko magkasama kami ni Sharon Cuneta,’” Duterte said.
In another speech on the same day, Duterte said he had to call Pangilinan to express his daughter's wish to have dinner with Cuneta.
“I had to call Sen. Pangilinan. Senator, I owe you for doing this [for] my daughter. I respect you," said Duterte.In a Facebook post on Thursday, Cuneta thanked the President, saying she felt "so kilig" upon knowing that he had mentioned her in his speeches.
"(All politics aside -- into which I have unfortunately been dragged by mere association to my Senator-hubby's work:) Thank you, Mr. President Duterte, Sir, for what you said on the news about me and my friend Mayor Inday Sara last night. May God bless you, Sir!" she wrote.
"Everyone let's aim for peace here. Doesn't matter. We know they (Duterte and Pangilinan) are on opposing sides. But I appreciate the President's respect for him, and me, and my friendship with Inday Sara which started long before anyone knew Pres. Duterte was going to run for his present position," she said.