OPINION: ‘Pres’ Sara in 2022 is Duterte’s insurance from ICC arrest when he is out of Malacañang

Ellen T. Tordesillas

Posted at Feb 24 2019 02:58 AM

Early last week, fellow Malaya columnist JB Baylon posted this shout out in his Facebook wall:

"After DU30, Sarah
"Accept it.
"Sorry na lang for those who sucked up hoping for an endorsement.
"She’s the 'term extension'.”

Last week also, as Davao City mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio went around campaigning for her 13-member Hugpong ng Pagbabago senatorial slate, there had been a lot of comments about her being a strong contender for the 2022 presidential election.

House Speaker and former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo called Duterte-Carpio “a rising star" in politics, adding that it is not farfetched that she would be succeeding her father in Malacañang. "Let me just put it this way: historically, children of presidents do rise," she said.

In the Philippines, there have been two presidential children who have become presidents: Arroyo (2001 to 2010). Her father, Diosdado Macapagal, was president from 1961 to 1965. Benigno Aquino III was president from 2010 to 2016. His mother, Corazon Aquino, was president from 1986 to 1992.

Sen. Panfilo Lacson re-issued his earlier statement on Sara, who is running for re-election as Davao City mayor: “I said this before, sometime in August last year and I’ll say it again – speaking of Mayor Sara Duterte, if the next leader of our country would emerge from the young, fresh, and new faces in national politics, my top choice right now is Sara Duterte.”   

There was no comment from Duterte himself, but his Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo smugly remarked that he won’t be surprised if Sara succeeds her father adding that raising funds for a presidential campaign won’t be a problem because she has many “admirers.”

On Duterte-Carpio’s part, not only did she not rule out a presidential run in 2022, she even boosted the idea saying “It depends on the circumstances. Maybe we can make a deadline in January 2021. Assuming it’s automated elections for 2022, the deadline most probably (would) be October of the previous year.”

Showing political savvy, she added: “It is money, machinery and the most important is wisdom and guidance of God because it would be difficult if it’s not for you. Magiging madali yan kung intended ng Diyos na para sa iyo.”

As JB’s shout out suggested, Sara for president in 2022 puts a damper on the  hopes of Manny Pacquiao, Richard Gordon, Alan Cayetano to be endorsed by Duterte in 2022.  They can vie, though, to be Sara’s running mate.

But the most significant of JB’s shout out is: She’s the “term extension.”

There is no need to revise the Constitution to allow Duterte to continue being in power after 2022. Sara succeeding him in Malacañang will assure Duterte that the International Criminal Court (ICC) won’t be allowed in the country to arrest him when the case progresses to that stage. He would not have to answer for the extra-judicial killings attributed to him.

Sara as the next president will also continue to clamp down on the Anti-Money Laundering Council and the Ombudsman so the case of Duterte’s unexplained wealth would remain uninvestigated.

More so because Sara is a co-depositor in that BPI account that showed bank deposits exceeding at least P100 million not reported in her Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net worth when she was vice mayor which is a violation of the law.

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