DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 03 October) — Vice Mayor Sebastian “Baste” Duterte said it was unlikely his sister Sara would change her mind about vying to succeed their family patriarch Rodrigo as the next President of the Philippines.
The Vice Mayor made the statement a day after Mayor Duterte surprised everyone by filing a certificate of candidacy for another mayoralty stint last Saturday, an hour after her father announced in Pasay City that he was “retiring from politics.”
Would Sara change her mind? “I do not think so,” the Vice Mayor told reporters.
“As far as I know, my sister, once kasi pag may sinabi siya, di na siya bumabalik kung ano sinasabi niya, di niya na inuulit ang sinasabi niya, di niya na binabago That is what I expected from her. So gumanon lang talaga. Sinabi niya dati di siya tatakbo, ayaw naman maniwala ng mga tao. Well, nangyari na yung nangyari, ganun na talaga,” (As far as I know, when my sister says something, she doesn’t change her mind, and she doesn’t take it back… So that’s why that happened [the filing of COC for mayor]. She has said before that she won’t run [for President], but people don’t believe it. What happened happened, and so that’s it), he said.
But he would support his sister’s decision.
“I do not look at her as a politician or government worker. Syempre yung iniintindi ko, yung kung saan siya comfortable, kung saan ang gusto niya, kung saan siya masaya. So kung masaya siya for reelection as city mayor, doon tayo, doon ako,”
(Whatever my sister decides, I do not look at her as a politician or government worker. But of course, whatever she feels comfortable doing, wherever she wants, wherever she’s happy–If she’s happy to be reelected as city Mayor, let’s support that. I support that.)
The Vice Mayor himself filed a certificate of candidacy (COC) to seek reelection. He also filed his brother Paolo’s COC for first district representative. Rep. Duterte had recently been diagnosed with COVID-19, but has reportedly recovered,
The Vice Mayor said he could not stop supporters of his sister from campaigning for her to run for a higher post outside the city.
=“If you want to continue what you’re doing, then, it’s up to them. Maybe something miraculous will happen, but I doubt it,” he said,
The 43-year old Sara started in politics in 2007 as Vice Mayor and served as mayor for three terms: from 2010 to 2013, 2016 to 2019 and 2019 to 2022.
Several campaigns in different parts of the country have pushed for Sara to run for President in next year’s election.
President Duterte had earlier accepted a nomination for the vice-presidency under the Cusi faction of the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino–Lakas ng Bayan (PDP Laban), but he did not file his COC. Duterte accompanied Go at the Sofitel tent in Pasay, venue of the filing of COCs for national posts, where the latter filed his COC for Vice President.
The President announced he was ”retiring from politics,” a decision supported by the Vice Mayor.
“Kung ako, it’s appropriate. Kasi may edad na rin yung tatay ko, PRD. So gusto niya magpahinga, dito na lang siya sa Davao, sa bahay, o kung ano man” (It’s appropriate. My father is old. If he wants to rest, let him rest in Davao, at home or wherever), the Vice Mayor said.
He said his potential return to the Sangguniang Panlungsod for a second term is for continuity’s sake.
“As far as my reelection is concerned, marami kasi kaming naipasa sa 19th City Council of Davao na mga ordinances. Gusto ko lang mai-follow through. I want to see if the people still want me to be their vice mayor. Pag pinayagan ako, OK lang,” he said. (Yas D. Ocampo / MindaNews)