DAVAO CITY - President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday warned his daughter, reelectionist Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, that the presidency will destroy her, amid speculation she might be posturing for a 2022 bid.
“I’m publicly warning her: The presidency will not educate you, it will just destroy you, especially with the kind of media ngayon, paid hacks, mga hyena,” Duterte told reporters after casting his vote at a public school here.
Carpio has been leading the administration-backed regional party Hugpong ng Pagbabago, which toured the country to campaign for its senatorial slate in the May 13 elections.
Majority of its candidates are tipped to win the polls, in a boost to the administration seeking to firm up its allies in the Senate.
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.
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.
Carpio is running for her second term as mayor of Davao City against independent candidate Jun Marcellones, in a race widely expected to be lopsided in favor of the incumbent mayor.
Carpio’s brothers, Paolo and Sebastian, are also running for Davao City’s 1st district representative and vice mayor, respectively.
Sebastian is unopposed in his first-ever bid at an elective post, while Paolo is running against independent candidates Rex Labis and Susan Uyanguren.
A victory for the three Duterte siblings will further cement the family’s strong grip on Davao City politics, as their father is also expected to get a fresh mandate when his allies dominate the Senate race, as tipped by opinion polls.
Asked to react about how all his three children with his first wife, Elizabeth Zimmerman, are now in politics, Duterte said: "The earlier they go out of politics the better."