Saying she's focused on responding to COVID-19, Davao mayor coy to talk about 2022 presidential run

Saying she's focused on responding to COVID-19, Davao mayor coy to talk about 2022 presidential run

DAVAO CITY –– Davao City Mayor Sara Z. Duterte has brushed aside renewed talk about her supposed presidential ambitions in 2022 after President Rodrigo Duterte issued a piece of advice on the subject while talking to soldiers in Sulu last Monday.

Mayor Duterte said she would rather focus on dealing with the coronavirus crisis than “talk about things which are not before us.”

During her regular program over city government-run Davao City Disaster Radio, Mayor Duterte was asked to comment on her father’s advice for her to “lay off” plans to run for president “if (it is) just a matter of ambition.”

President Duterte brought up the subject in his cuss-laden ‘Talk to Troops’ in Jolo on Monday during, which he also claimed to have busted the country’s oligarchs.

The president said he told his daughter “not to enter into that job (of being president).”

“You don’t gain anything unless you want to make money (out of it),” the president said.

“You will only receive a salary of P194,000. Other generals here earn more than I do, honestly,” the president added.

“(That is why) I told Inday (Mayor Duterte) not to aspire to become president unless you see something that you are capable of doing for the country… Unless you are driven by patriotism,” President Duterte said.

This is the second time in the year that President Duterte talked about Mayor Duterte’s possible presidential run in 2022.

Last January 10, during a visit to Pigcawayan town in Cotabato province, the president said he advised his daughter not to “make the mistake” of seeking the presidency.

“Don’t push my daughter to run because I will pity her. She’s my daughter. If you become a President, you will be insulted,” the president told his audience, composed of farmers and local government employees, at that time.

In brushing aside talk of 2022 plans, Mayor Duterte said her plate is already filled leading the city government amid the challenges of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

The cases of COVID-19 in the city continue to rise, jacked up by the number of infected returnees from virus hotspots Cebu and Manila.

“Our problem now is there is a pandemic… and you also need to deliver basic public services,” the 42-year-old mayor said.

“This is not an easy task,” she added.

Popularly known as Inday Sara, Mayor Duterte is widely thought to be a presidential shoo-in in 2022 given the role she played in the shapeup of the national political dynamics.

In 2018, she was a major influence in the removal of Davao del Norte Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez as House Speaker and replacement by former president and then outgoing Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, just before the president delivered his State of the Nation Address.

Through her regional party Hugpong Ng Pagbabago, she helped bring victory to most of the president’s preferred senatorial candidates during the 2019 midterm polls.

Just like her father before his 2016 run, Mayor Duterte has also brushed aside calls for her to seek the presidency in 2022.

Before the 2016 elections, she said she would retire from politics, although in October 2015, she was among those who convinced her father to gun for president by shaving her hair.

Her father first filed candidacy for Davao City mayor, later taking it back when he substituted for an unknown PDP-Laban presidential candidate. She eventually replaced her father as the mayoral bet.