DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/ 17 Oct) – Sebastian “Baste” Duterte, President Rodrigo Duterte’s younger son, on Wednesday filed his certificate of candidacy as vice mayor of Davao City, two days after his sister, Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio announced the possibility of her brother as her running mate.
Baste, who arrived at the Commission on Elections (Comelec) 11 office in Magsaysay Park with her sister-mayor, told reporters it took him long to decide on whether he should join politics.
“I thought about it months ago so making this decision was not easy for me but the eventually I had to decide and I thought to myself it would be an honor to serve the people of Davao City,” he said.
He said he would feel happy if the people of Davao would give him the chance to serve them like they did to his father, sister, and brother, resigned vice mayor Paolo Duterte who is running for representative of the city’s first district.
“I thought I was born and raised here in Davao City. I’ve been to places, I’ve been to everywhere, but I always go back here. My heart is here in Davao. This is what I want,” he said.
Baste admitted to having consulted his father but added the decision to run was his alone.
A rookie in politics, Baste admitted he has yet to know the functions of a vice mayor. As of 1 p.m. on Wednesday, no other person has filed a candidacy for vice mayor.
“I’ve never experienced anything. I was never in office. If I’m already there I can tell you what I can do for the city but what I can offer is my honesty and service… I myself do not know what to expect like, I said, I have not served the public yet,” he said.
Carpio said their father is supporting the candidacy of her younger brother.
She said Baste talked with their father on Monday night in Davao about his decision to enter politics.
“Apparently, what President Duterte said is that we will support what Baste wants. If he wants to run, the President will support it,” she said.
But Carpio said she initially disapproved of the decision of the 30-year old Baste to run for vice mayor.
“As a sister, I don’t want him to run as vice mayor. I don’t want him to be in politics because your life becomes public. I’ve been in public office since 2007 and I don’t want that kind of life for him but, you know, I do not own his life. I am just his sister, so I am just here to support him on his decisions,” she said.
Paolo filed his candidacy as representative of the city’s first district last Friday while Carpio filed hers last Monday.
If all three of them win, Carpio said the Dabawenyos can expect them to continue the brand of leadership that their President-father is known for.
“They can expect the kind of leadership that our father taught us, to listen to the people, look at what the needs of the people are, and address the issues and challenges. That is the kind of leadership that we can expect,” she said.
Carpio was elected as vice mayor from 2007 to 2010, mayor from 2010 to 2010, and from 2016 until the present. She said her decision to seek reelection was irrevocable.
Paolo served as barangay chair of Catalunan Grande in the city’s first district from 2007 to 2013, president of the Association Barangay Councils of Davao City from 2008 to 2013, and vice mayor to his father from 2013 to 2016.
He was reelected as vice mayor in 2016 before resigning in 2017, months after he and his brother-in-law lawyer Manases Carpio were dragged into a drug smuggling controversy as members of the so-called Davao Group, the group behind a shabu shipment from China that arrived via the Manila International Container Port in Tondo, Manila on May 16 last year. (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)