Sara on political dynasty: Election makes it democratic

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 18 Oct) – Incumbent Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio did not deny that the city is ruled by a “political dynasty” with both her brothers running for high positions – as representative and as vice mayor – in May but she maintained the freedom of the people to select their leaders makes it democratic.

Sara and Baste at the Davao COMELEC Office. MindaNews file photo by MANMAN DEJETO

“We really cannot deny that. The detractors and opposition will say it’s political dynasty. Yes, it’s a political dynasty. That we are submitting ourselves to an election, it’s still a democratic process,” she told reporters in an interview on Wednesday.

Carpio’s younger brother, Sebastian, the youngest son of President Rodrigo R. Duterte with former wife Elizabeth Zimmerman, filed his candidacy for vice mayor on Wednesday, two days after Carpio filed hers on Monday.

Paolo, the eldest of the presidential children who resigned from his post as vice mayor in December 2017, also filed his candidacy as representative of the city’s first congressional district last Friday.

“It’s not good to point fingers, but it’s not only here in Davao City. It’s not only here in the Philippines. What you can see in the other countries, it’s all the same. Usually, when you come from a family of doctors, you become a doctor; when you come from a family of politicians, most likely you will become a politician,” he said.

There is only one candidate who challenged Carpio for the mayor: Magdaleno Marcellones, who filed his certificate of candidacy on Wednesday. Susana Uyanguren and Rex Labis filed their candidacies for District 1 representative challenging Paolo, while Sebastian, who has no experience in politics, ran unopposed.

Carpio was elected as vice mayor from 2007 to 2010, mayor from 2010 to 2013, and elected again as mayor in 2016.

Her older brother, 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, vice mayor to his father from 2013 to 2016, and reelected in 2016.

But he announced his resignation months after he and his brother-in-law lawyer Manases Carpio were dragged into the smuggling controversy as members of the so-called Davao Group, the group behind shabu shipment from China that arrived via the Manila International Container Terminal in Tondo, Manila on May 16, 2017.

Their father, Rodrigo, was mayor from 1988 to 1998, representative of the first district from 1998 to 2001, mayor from 2001 to 2010, vice mayor to his daughter-mayor from 2010 to 2013, and elected mayor for the seventh time in 2013 with son, Paolo, as vice mayor. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)