House Speaker and former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on Wednesday described President Duterte's daughter, Sara Duterte-Carpio, as "a rising star" in politics, but called on the public to temper speculations and "take it one election at a time."
“Let me just say [that] she is a rising star in Philippine politics, even Senator Ping Lacson saw that. But let's take it one election at a time... and let us talk about 2022 later on," Arroyo said in an ambush interview.
Lacson said as early as last year that Duterte-Carpio was his top choice among the country's young leaders, describing her as strong-willed and progressive-minded.
Duterte-Carpio is the incumbent mayor of Davao City. Due to her key role in the regional party, Hugpong ng Pagbabago, and its support for 13 senatorial candidates in the 2019 midterm polls, many now think she is being groomed to succeed her father, who is set to step down in mid-2022.
According to Arroyo, the idea is not far-fetched, considering presidential offspring "historically" emerge and eventually take positions in politics.
"Let me just put it this way: historically, children of presidents do rise," Arroyo said.
Arroyo herself, daughter of former Philippine President Diosdado Macapagal, eventually joined politics and became senator, vice-president and president.
Her successor, Benigno Aquino III, is the son of the late former Senator Benigno Aquino Jr. and former President Corazon Aquino.
Duterte-Carpio earlier said that she will decide whether or not to run for president by January 2021.
Duterte-Carpio was instrumental in the ouster of House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez last July, and in the installation of Arroyo as head of the lower house.
—Reports from RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News