Vice Mayor Duterte won’t seek mayoral post if…

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DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 1 Sep) – Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Z. Duterte on Tuesday said he would run as barangay captain of Catalunan Grande if his siblings – former City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio and younger brother Sebastian – would seek higher positions in next year’s elections.

Sara, who succeeded Rodrigo Duterte as the city’s local chief executive from 2010 to 2013, has not yet announced whether she would stage a comeback in next year’s polls, pending the political plans of the Duterte patriarch in the presidential elections.

In an interview, Paolo revealed that Sebastian, who is a newbie in politics, was egged by the private sector to run as representative of the city’s third district but he remains 50-50 in running for the position.

“Puno na kaayo og Duterte ang syudad sa Davao… didto nalang ko sa ako barangay (Davao City is already full of Dutertes… I’d rather go back to my barangay),” he said.

The vice mayor said he and Sara are waiting for their father’s decision who would carry the flag of Hugpong sa Tawong Lungsod (Hugpong) next year but he would respect if his father decides to choose Sara over him.

But if Sara will not run, Paolo said he would.

“Give chance to others. I’m not hungry for that position,” he said.

As head of local political party Hugpong, Paolo said his father has yet to convene the members and finalize who would he choose to complete the slate for next year’s elections.

Paolo said Sara and him will wait until the filing of certificate of candidacy (COC) on October 12 to 15, 2015.

In a TV interview, Sara said the position for mayor is still open and that she is discussing with her brother Paolo who among them will run for mayor.

“We talked about mayorship and we had an agreement that only one of us will run for mayor and not go against each other,” she said.

Sara said she does not want to make an early pronouncement only to recant during the filing of certificate of candidacy (COC) next month.

“The mayoral post remains open because we don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow and the next day. It’s not good that I will declare my candidacy today and then when October comes, I won’t run. Or if I will say I won’t run today, and then suddenly I will by October,” she said.

She admitted that Maribojoc (Bohol) Mayor Leoncio Evasco came to meet her to encourage her to run for mayor. Evasco was one of the founding members of Hugpong and a close friend of Mayor Duterte.

The vice mayor said he would also support his father if ever he decides to seek for the highest position next year.

The elder Duterte, who has been urged by several groups to run for the presidency during last Friday’s “Run Duterte Run” caravan at the Rizal Park, said he will meet with his family before he would declare whether to run next year.

Paolo said they will come should their father call for a meeting. “But he has not yet called for a meeting with us,” he added, noting that they would come to his aid whatever his political plans will be.

“If that’s where he is going, then the presidency is for him. Nobody can stop his candidacy if he’s really running. Us kids will support him,” he added.

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