MANILA - Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio on Sunday defended her trips to different parts of the country to consult on politics amid the COVID-19 crisis that continues to hit the Philippines, including her home city.
Duterte-Carpio, who is being encouraged to succeed his father, President Rodrigo Duterte, when he steps down next year, has travelled over the last several days to meet with former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in Pasay City, Cebu Governor Gwen Garcia in Cebu, and Zamboanga City Mayor Beng Climaco.
She has expressed openness to running for the presidency.
"It is true that there is a pandemic but it will not suspend the filing of COCs (certificates of candidacy) in October or postpone the elections on May 2022. A decision has to be made regarding my political career with or without the pandemic," she said.
"This pandemic will last 2-3 years and Covid-19 will be become endemic, I have to be resilient. I have divided my entire week between my work as Mayor, my politics, and my family."
The mayor said all her travels were "covered by duly filed leave of absences" and assured her constituents that "my strength as a Mayor is to take on several roles and ensure that work is carried out."
"It is only my person who leaves the city 3 days a week and in my stead, you are with our Vice Mayor and the entire strength of all the departments of the City Hall to make sure that operations and services are uninterrupted," she said.
Davao City is under general community quarantine with heightened restrictions until the end of the month.
It has logged 2,013 active cases out of a total 28,942 as of Saturday, according to the health department's website.