Duterte dares local leaders to challenge 30-year rule of his family

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 22 June) — President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday dared Dabawenyos to establish a strong opposition party to challenge the three-decade rule of his family here.

“If you think Davaoeños that they are not already up to it, then by all means I suggest other leaders here to put up a strong opposition so that the people will have a choice na hindi lang ang Duterte pala ang marunong (It’s not only the Dutertes who know how to lead),” the President said during the oath-taking of incoming Davao City Vice Mayor Sebastian Duterte on Friday.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte speaks at the oath-taking of his son, Vice Mayor Sebastian Duterte, at the Sangguniang Panlungsod in Davao City on June 21, 2019. Arman Baylon/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

Duterte, who admitted he is sometimes ashamed of the political dynasty his family created, said it was the choice of the people of Davao that allows them to lead for several years.

He said he is willing to give other leaders the chance to lead Davao if the people no longer want them in power.

Giving the people of Davao more choice to choose their leaders is a democracy, the President said.

“Kung ma-realize niya na bigyan na natin ng chance (If she realizes to give others chance), maybe after this, if my daughter Inday would decide, ‘let us give others a chance,” he said.

He said his partymates at the Hugpong sa Tawong Lungsod (HTL), a local party he founded, wanted Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio to replace him as the local chief executive officer and his eldest son, Paolo, as the vice mayor when he no longer wanted to be in politics.

Before his election as President in 2016, Duterte was OIC Vice Mayor from 1986 to 1987, Mayor from 1988 to 1998, 2001 to 2010 and 2013 to 2016; Representative of the first district from 1998 to 2001, and Vice mayor to his daughter-mayor from 2010 to 2013.

Daughter Sara was Vice Mayor from 2007 to 2010, Mayor from 2010 to 2013, 2016-2019 and 2019 to 2022 while eldest son, Paolo, was councilor from 2008 to 2013, and vice mayor from 2013 to 2016, 2016 until his resignation in December 2018.

The Dutertes at the oath-taking of youngest son Sebastian, as Vice Mayor, on 21 June 2019. (L TO R), Sebastian (Vice Mayor), Elizabeth Zimmerman, President Rodrigo Duterte, Sara (Mayor) and Paolo (Representative, 1st District). Joey Dalumpines/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

Incoming vice mayor Sebastian “Baste” Duterte, the President’s youngest son with ex-wife Elizabeth Zimmerman, is the fourth member of the Duterte family to join politics.

He said he respected his children’s decision to enter politics even though he did not want them to.

As a father to three politician children, the President advised them to stay humble and avoid flaunting their power to prevent attracting unnecessary attention. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)