Davao City mayor and presidential daughter Sara Duterte has an “independent mind” and can decide whether she will consider running as president in the 2022 elections, Malacañang said on Tuesday.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said he could not tell whether Sara had plans on running despite the warning of her father, President Rodrigo Duterte that presidency could both “educate” & “destroy” her.
“We know Mayor Sara has her own independent mind. We have to leave that to Mayor Sara herself,” Panelo said in a Palace briefing.
Panelo denied speculations that the President repeatedly mentioned Sara in his speeches as if hinting that she would seek the country’s highest elective post in the 2022 elections.
“He (Duterte) doesn’t have to say that because everybody wants her to run. I mean, a lot of people are egging her to run,” Panelo said.
Panelo said the President’s warning was his way of showing concern for his children.
“I think that’s a genuine concern for this President. He loves his children; he doesn’t want them to suffer,” Panelo said.
“Since he is a father to a daughter ayaw niya sigurong maranasan ng anak niya iyong nararanasan niya ngayon (he doesn’t want his daughter to experience what he’s experiencing now),” he added.
Sara, who leads the administration-backed regional party Hugpong ng Pagbabago, was reelected mayor while her brothers Paolo and Baste won as representative of the first district of Davao City and vice mayor, respectively.
Rumors of her planning to run for president in the next elections surfaced anew after many of the administration-backed candidates made it to the Senate’s Magic 12 based on the partial and unofficial results of the May 13 mid-term polls.
<strong>Anti-Political Dynasty Measures</strong>
Panelo, meanwhile, reiterated Duterte’s stance on anti-political dynasty provisions in the proposed federal constitution, saying he will leave it to Filipinos to decide via referendum-plebiscite.
Duterte previously said he was for anti-political dynasties but could not prevent his own children from running for public office.
“Ang sinasabi niya yata roon, Pilipino pa rin ang magdi-decide. Kasi mayroong dynasty na maganda, mayroon ding dynasty na masama (What he said before is, it’s up to Filipinos to decide. Because there are dynasties which are good, there are dynasties that are bad),” Panelo said.
“We have seen how the Filipinos or the Filipino electorate has rejected dynasties which they feel and believe to be no longer fruitful sa kanila; hindi beneficial sa kanila kaya ni-reject nila (to them, no longer beneficial to them that’s why they reject them),” he added.
The Presidential Spokesperson also said it will be up to the Congress to push for anti-political dynasty measures.
“We will leave it to the members of Congress, to their good conscience, to whatever they think is good for this country,” Panelo said. (PNA)
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