Paolo Duterte announces resignation as Davao vice mayor

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/25 December) – Presidential son and Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte announced during a special session of the city council on Christmas Day that he was resigning from his post.

The vice mayor cited “delicadeza” as reason for his resignation. He and brother-in-law lawyer Manases Carpio were among those implicated as members of the so-called Davao Group which was reportedly behind the P6.4-billion shabu smuggling last May.

Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte holds a press conference on Sept. 12, 2017 after he was implicated in the P6,4-billion shabu smuggling case. Mindanews file photo

The decision to resign came more than 100 days after he and Carpio faced a Senate committee probe, on Sept. 7, where he denied any involvement in the incident.

Duterte, 42, who is on his second term since 2013, was named as part of the so-called Davao Group, which was reportedly behind the P6.4-billion shabu smuggling.

The shabu shipment came from China and arrived via the Manila International Container Port in Tondo, Manila last May 16 this year.

The vice mayor recently traded barbs with Isabelle, his daughter with ex-wife Lovelie Sangkola Sumera. Isabelle got bashed on social media or her “inappropriate” pre-debut pictorial inside Malacañang.

“I hereby tender my resignation as vice mayor of Davao City effective today December 25, 2017,” he said, weeping.

The vice mayor announced his resignation during the deliberation on the proposal to declare the city in a state of calamity due to tropical storm “Vinta” and the disbursement of the remaining 2017 Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Fund worth P83.4 million for 18,603 affected families in 25 of 182 barangays here.

After the passage of the proposed measures, Duterte relinquished the floor to majority floor leader and second district councilor Bernard Al-ag.

Before delivering his resignation message, Vice Mayor Duterte approached and shook hands with Councilor Bonifacio Militar, a senior member of the council. He then approached a few people who were seated outside the session hall, including Mayor Sara Duterte and her chief of staff Atty. Raul Nadela.

He opened his speech by extending his sympathies to all the families who “lost a loved one, those who lost their jobs and those who were affected by the floods because of Typhoon Vinta.”

Duterte went on to say that the recent controversies where he figured in are closely tied to his “failed first marriage” with Sumera, the maligning of his reputation after he was dragged into the shabu smuggling case, and public squabble with his daughter.

“The other person in this failed relationship is incorrigible and cannot be controlled. And I take responsibility for all that has happened as a result of a wrong decision to marry at a very young age,” he said.

He left the session hall after he delivered his speech.

The vice mayor eloped with his ex-wife at the age of 18, President Rodrigo R. Duterte said.

The younger Duterte said his parents, the president and his ex-wife Elizabeth Zimmerman, taught him the “principle of delicadeza” and that under his current situation he needed to protect “his honor and that of my children.”

“Nakasabot pud ko (I understand) where he is coming from. He was talking about delicadeza and his honor. He is not entirely putting the blame on another person pero nagaingon sya katong decision nya katong bata pa sya magminyo og sayo, nakaapekto sa iyang kinabuhi karon (but he said his decision to marry at a young age affected his life today),” Mayor Duterte said.

The entire staff of the vice mayor will be moved to the City Mayor’s Office, she said, adding his brother “will spend time with his children.”

Councilor Al-ag, as the majority floor leader, will succeed as vice mayor.

Section 44 of Republic Act 7160 or Local Government Code states, ”If a permanent vacancy occurs in the office of the governor or mayor, the vice governor or vice mayor concerned shall become the governor or mayor. If a permanent vacancy occurs in the offices of the governor, vice-governor, mayor, or vice mayor, the highest ranking Sanggunian member or, in case of his permanent inability, the second highest ranking Sanggunian member, shall become the governor, vice-governor, mayor or vice mayor, as the case may be. Subsequent vacancies in the said office shall be filled automatically by the other Sanggunian members according to their ranking as defined herein.”

The vice mayor’s status remains “on leave” pending approval of his resignation by the President, Mayor Duterte said, but added she and the President had been informed of such decision.

Before his stint as vice mayor, Paolo Duterte served as barangay chair of Catalunan Grande in the city’s first district from 2007 to 2013 and Association Barangay Councils of Davao City from 2008 to 2013. (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)