Mayor Sara: Let’s focus on COVID-19 pandemic, not running for president

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 15 July) – Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio said on Wednesday that it is not yet time for her to be talking about the 2022 presidential election when the country is confronted with more pressing concerns brought about by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

President Rodrigo Duterte salutes wounded soldiers during his visit at Kuta Heneral Teodulfo Bautista Headquarters in Jolo, Sulu on Monday. Presidential Photo

During her live interview over Davao City Disaster Radio (DCDR 87.5), Carpio refused to comment on the statement made by her father, President Rodrigo R. Duterte, during the latter’s visit to Kuta General Teodulfo Bautista Headquarters in Jolo, Sulu on Monday where he told the mayor to take his place only if she is “driven by patriotism.”

“We are in the time of the pandemic, maybe let’s not talk about things that are not yet in front of us,” she said.

President Duterte told Carpio, his eldest daughter with ex-wife Elizabeth Zimmerman, that she better not gun for the country’s highest post unless she is driven by patriotism and that she really wants to serve the country, given the enormity of the responsibilities and the attendant problems that come with being President.

“I told Inday [Carpio], do not run for president unless you see something that you can do for your country. But if just a matter of ambition, lay off,” he added.

Duterte warned that she would only get exhaustion from doing the multitude of tasks passed on the shoulders of the President.

“You will get nothing but exhaustion. You go to the mountains, you do just about everything, you go around because of service,” he said.

The President served as mayor of Davao City from 1988 to 1998, representative of the first district from 1998 to 2001 and mayor again from 2001 to 2010, vice mayor to his daughter-mayor from 2010 to 2013, and mayor from 2013 to 2016.

Meanwhile, Carpio ran for mayor in 2016 when her father decided to run for President. Carpio was re-elected as mayor in 2019.

But the presidential daughter said she is more concerned about the problem of addressing the pandemic, and how the people of Davao can continue on their lives despite COVID-19.

The number of COVID-19 cases in the city has continued to rise as the government eased quarantine measures.

As of July 14, the Department of Health-Davao reported 45 new cases, with 39 deaths and 458 recoveries. Of the total 818 COVID-19 cases, 600 are in Davao City, 76 in Davao del Norte, 31 in Davao del Sur, 57 in Davao de Oro, 50 in Davao Oriental, and four in Davao Occidental.

Carpio said addressing the pandemic is a difficult task, and that she does not want to concern herself over things other than her deliverables in public service.

“What should concern is that there is a pandemic and how we can go on with our lives despite that there is pandemic, and how we can continue the things that we need to do in the government, other than the things we need to do outside COVID-19 pandemic,” she said. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)