MANILA - Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio on Friday insisted that the presidency is not yet on her mind after her father, President Rodrigo Duterte, said he would not let his daughter run for the highest executive post in the land once he steps down.
Duterte-Carpio, who is running for her second term as Davao City mayor in the upcoming May polls, said her focus is on her reelection bid as local chief executive.
“I have not decided on anything except my plan is to finish 3 terms as mayor in Davao City if Dabawenyos agree with me. And [President Duterte] is correct: I am not thinking about running for President,” Duterte-Carpio told ABS-CBN News in a text message.
During the campaign rally of ruling party PDP-Laban in Bacolod City on Thursday evening, the President dispelled persistent talk that her daughter was being groomed for the post, saying Duterte-Carpio simply wants to “shake the tree.”
“If I know Inday, hindi ’yan tatakbo ng pagka-presidente (she won’t run for president),” Duterte said, calling Duterte-Carpio by her nickname.
“Wise ’yan si Inday (Inday is wise). She just wants to shake the tree and get rid of the dry leaves and everything. Hindi ako papayag na tatakbo (I won’t allow her to run).”
Duterte-Carpio is leading the administration-backed regional party Hugpong ng Pagbabago, which has been touring the country to campaign for its senatorial slate in the May 13 elections.
Analysts have said Duterte-Carpio's major role in the midterm polls indicates that she is positioning herself as a possible contender for the presidency in 2022.
The Davao City mayor, however, urged her supporters to stop labeling her as the country’s “next president,” as this has made her a prime target of those eyeing the presidency.
“I wish they would not talk about me like that dahil ’yung mga gustong mag-president as early as now, ilalagay nila ako sa No. 1 sa hate list nila,” Duterte-Carpio told reporters in February.
(I wish they would not talk about me like that because those who are eyeing the presidency as early as now, they would make me No. 1 on their hate list.)
“Ang ginagawa ko lang naman is tinutulungan ang presidente to get through the remaining three years of his administration.”
(What I’m just doing is to help the President get through the remaining three years of his administration.)
The President himself, a long-time Davao City mayor, was hesitant to run for the top post, only throwing his hat in the ring at the last minute through a substitution of candidacy within his party. - with Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News