MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday said his daughter, Davao City Mayor Inday Sara Duterte-Carpio, is not interested in the presidency after the latter led the launch of an alliance, which some observers say might become her platform for launching her political career at the national level.
The President, who continues to enjoy high popularity ratings, doused suggestions by supporters that his daughter should replace him once he steps down from office.
“Maniwala ka pala niyan? Istorya ‘yan… Wala ‘yan. No. Inday is not interested. You know, I’m telling you the truth. She did not really want to be Mayor,” Duterte said when asked to react to comments that the mayor will be his successor.
Duterte-Carpio recently led the launch of "Tapang at Malasakit Alliance for the Philippines," consisting of groups that supported her father during the 2016 presidential elections.
The Davao City mayor also dubbed the alliance as a platform wherein politicians supportive of the Duterte government or otherwise can unite for a common cause.
Observers, however, said the younger Duterte could also use the alliance as a platform to launch her senatorial or presidential candidacy, something the mayor immediately dismissed.
Duterte-Carpio said she will instead run for Congress in 2019, adding that if she did have plans for seeking a national position, she would not have announced it so soon.
The mayor had also said the alliance was not a show of force against cause-oriented group Tindig Pilipinas, which has criticized the killings under the administration's anti-narcotics crackdown.
LOCALIZED TALKS WITH NPAs
Meanwhile, the President said he supports the effort of his daughter to hold localize peace talks with New People’s Army rebels in Davao City even as the national government’s peace talks with the communist leadership remains in limbo.
“Itong kay Inday na local initiative. I am encouraging her. And to the New People’s Army, do not take it so badly. Wala namang pilitan ‘to eh. ‘Yung gusto lang magpahinga,” he said.
“If you are tired killing another human being, you’re always invited to go back mainstream. Balik kayo dito at alagaan ko kayo. And eventually, just to prepare you for the entry into [mainstream] society,” he added.