Panelo says he won’t be surprised if Sara Duterte becomes President
MANILA, Philippines — Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo on Friday said he will not be surprised if Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio becomes president like her father.
Panelo made the remark when asked if government resources were used in the campaign sorties of Duterte-Carpio’s Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP) party.
He explained how “strict” the Davao city mayor is like her father, President Rodrigo Duterte.
“Si Mayor Sara napaka-istrikto niyan (Mayor Sara is very strict). You know what the people there in Davao City said when she was Mayor, until now, mas istrikto pa iyan kay Mayor Digong (she is even more strict than Mayor Digong),” Panelo said. “I will not be surprised if she becomes President of this country after her father.”
Panelo, who is also Duterte’s chief legal counsel, said Duterte-Carpio has a lot of supporters who believe in her capacity to lead.
“There are many admirers of Inday Sara – admirers and supporters. In fact, there is even a movement launching her to be the next president. Maraming bilib sa kanya eh. (Many believe in her),” Panelo said, adding that they see in her Duterte’s traits — she is good, intelligent, and has courage.
The Palace official cited former presidents Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III who followed their parents’ footsteps and became the country’s leaders themselves. Arroyo was the daughter of former President Diosdado Macapagal while Aquino was the son of former President Cory Aquino.
“Baka ‘kako meron namang Duterte at may Sara Duterte din, kaya ko lang nasabi iyon (I only said that because I was hoping that Duterte may have Sara Duterte (as the next leader),” Panelo said.
In 2017, rumors about Duterte-Carpio running for President in 2022 when her father’s term expires swirled amid her increasing presence in public events outside the city.
This was, however, shut down by the President himself, who called the possibility “cheap talk.” /ee
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