Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio (ManilaTImes.net photo)

Palace spokesman Salvador Panelo said that first daughter and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio might become the next leader of the country, following his father President Rodrigo Duterte’s footsteps.

“I will not be surprised if she becomes president of this country after her father. There are many admirers of Inday Sara – admirers and supporters,” Panelo said as reported by The Philippine Star.

The presidential spokesperson and legal counsel said that the female Duterte has garnered many supporters due to the similar characteristics she exudes that remind the public of her father.

“In fact, there is even a movement launching her to be the next president. Many believe in her. They see in her the character of the father: formidable, intelligent, courageous — braver than the president, I heard,” Panelo said in English and Filipino.

Panelo said that the current Davao City mayor’s tough and strict methods earned her the trust and admiration of her constituents. The younger Duterte has been recently seen campaigning for senatorial candidates under the political party Hugpong Ng Pagbabago (HNP).

“Definitely, Mayor Sara is very strict. You know what the people there in Davao City said when she was mayor until now, she is more strict than Mayor Digong, especially in terms of expenses,” Panelo said.

The spokesperson believed that the resources used by Hugpong could also be utilized should the first daughter decide on a higher public seat. However, he said that any clarification regarding Mayor Sara’s intent to run for president “should be addressed to her.”

Panelo clarified that the Duterte patriarch believed in the survival of the fittest as the spokesman reiterated that the president ”did not interfere with Mayor Sara and I don’t think he would interfere, given his character.”

However, Duterte-Carpio responded during an HNP campaign sortie in Vigan, Ilocos Sur that she would announce her decision sometime in January 2021. She admitted that deciding such requires a lot of time.

“Yung pagtakbo kasi ng presidente hindi ‘yan overnight na decision (Running for president is not an overnight decision),” Duterte-Carpio said as reported by The Manila Times.

“It needs money, machinery at pinaka importante sa lahat is yung wisdom at guidance ng Diyos dahil magiging mahirap ‘yan kundi para sa’yo ‘yan (but the most important thing is wisdom and guidance from the Lord because it will be difficult if it’s not intended for you),” she added.

The presidential daughter believed that her intent to run as the next chief executive would be influenced by the circumstances she has yet to encounter. She issued that she might arrive at a decision two years from now.

“Depende sa circumstances. Siguro gawa na lang tayo ng deadline na on January of 2021 (It depends on the circumstances. Maybe, let’s just set a deadline, on January of 2021),” she explained.

Duterte-Carpio’s name has been the talk of the town regarding the 2022 presidential race. However, she repeatedly denied any desire to acquire a national post. At present, she campaigns to seek reelection as Davao City mayor in the upcoming May 13 midterm elections.

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