MANILA - If there is a local official who would likely excel in national politics, it would be the President's daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio.
Sen. Panfilo Lacson has this take, saying Duterte-Carpio has all the qualities of a good leader: strong-willed, stern, vibrant and progressive-minded.
He called the Davao Mayor his "top choice" among the country's young leaders.
“A number of young, hardworking colleagues are showing good leadership potential but at this time, this is my personal opinion, based on whatever political sense I have accumulated after my long years in public service, Mayor Sara stands out," Lacson said at the weekly "Kapihan sa Senado" on Thursday.
Duterte-Carpio has been coy about her plans for the 2019 elections but had previously said she would seek reelection as Davao City mayor in order to continue her priority projects in the city.
Her father President Rodrigo Duterte said Tuesday that she won't seek a national post.
Lacson made the comment as he took note of the Davao City mayor's perceived involvement in the election of former President and Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo as House Speaker.
Surigao del Norte Rep. Prospero Pichay earlier this week revealed that Duterte-Carpio joined lawmakers who met on the eve of Arroyo's election as leader of the House of Representatives.
The mayor had congratulated Arroyo for being elected House Speaker but kept mum on speculation that she supported the change in leadership.
Lacson, however, reiterated that relatives of the President should distance themselves from matters that have nothing to do with their functions as those acts are a clear “interference and influence-peddling.”
Duterte-Carpio landed in the 3rd-5th places in a recent senatorial poll conducted by Pulse Asia, with 46.2 percent of respondents saying they would vote for her.
-report from Sherrie Ann Torres, ABS-CBN News