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Duterte’s ex-wife skips cancer treatments to launch campaign caravan



Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte's ex-wife has joined the campaign trail to campaign for PDP-Laban standard bearer.

Elizabeth Zimmerman, who's afflicted with Stage Three breast cancer, has put her cancer treatments on hold to woo voters in the Visayas and in Mindanao.

"I have already had 15 sessions of the series of sessions. It can wait... All my medicines are in my bag," Zimmerman said in a statement.

She said her doctor had expressed concern over the radiation sessions that she would put off.

"My doctor told me I can skip for just a week, but I told him no, I want to be in the campaign for one month," Zimmerman said.

Zimmerman on Tuesday launched her Byaheng DU30, in which she would travel by bus to major cities.

"I am doing this for the country's future. We are doing this for change, real change," Zimmerman said.

The main objective of the caravan is to thank the supporters of Duterte and "convince the undecided and convert those who are unsure to trust, choose, and vote for Real Change -- to trust, choose, and vote for Rody Duterte."

Zimmerman is joined by her daughter Davao City mayoral bet Inday Sara Duterte-Carpio and 20 other volunteers.

Sara's children, Sharkie and Stingray, are two of the seven children who also joined the trip.

Sara said Byaheng DU30 is the brainchild of Elizabeth.

"It was her idea that we go around Visayas and Mindanao on board a bus.... She wants to meet the people and answer their questions about Rody," she said.

Sara also had to move her in vitro fertilization for Byahang DU30.

Still friends

Zimmerman was married to Duterte for almost 25 years. They had three children--Paulo, Sara, and Sebastian. Despite the annulment of their marriage, the former couple remained good friends.

Duterte once expressed his ire against the camp of former Interior Secretary Mar Roxas for allegedly spreading rumors that he had cancer. He said it hurt because it was the mother of his children who was actually had cancer.

Zimmerman was said to be the one who convinced her children to support calls for Duterte to run for president.

"Some people are 'negative' about it, but we may have have been separated but we are friends... We may be annulled in the courts, but we were married in the church and the Catholic church never anulled our marriage," Zimmerman said.

When she was asked why she decided to help, she said she "wanted to help him because he is still part of my family, he is the father of my children."

Sara said they're expecting that her parents will have a "bittersweet" reunion during a sortie, probably in Visayas. —NB, GMA News