Duterte dares political rivals to run in Davao
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has dared his family’s political rivals to build a strong opposition in Davao City to challenge the leadership of his children, who currently control the city’s politics.
The President pointed out that a beefed-up opposition would give voters an option to try out other leaders outside of the Duterte clan.
“By all means, I suggest other leaders here to put up a strong opposition so that the people will have a choice. That it is not only the Dutertes who know how to run things,” he said in a speech
‘This is democracy’
The President added: “I encourage you to do that because this is democracy.”
He made the remarks during the oathtaking of his son, Sebastian, as Davao City vice mayor on Friday.
The Duterte children prevailed in the May midterm elections, securing the leadership of Davao City.
His daughter, Sara Duterte, was elected Davao City mayor for another term while her youngest brother, Sebastian, was elected the city’s vice mayor.
Paolo Duterte, a former vice mayor, was elected as Davao City’s first district congressional representative.
The President himself began his political career as Davao City’s mayor in 1988, a position he held until 1998, after which he was elected as congressman.
After this, Mr. Duterte served as Davao City mayor for another three terms and served as Sara’s vice mayor for a single term before being reelected as mayor in 2013.
In his speech, the President admitted that his family may be considered a dynasty but said the problem lies in the people who vote for them.
“People keep on repeating that phrase about dynasty. That’s true that it’s bad for just one family to rule for so many years. The problem is the people,” the President said.
He added: “I don’t want it anymore, but what can I do if my children want it? I can’t just stop supporting them just because of the principle of dynasty.”
‘Give others a chance’
The President said he hoped Sara would let go of the reins of Davao City and allow other prospective leaders a chance.
“If she would realize to give other people a chance, maybe after this, if my daughter Inday would decide, ‘let us give others a chance.’ Because if another Duterte would run, I’m sure he would still win,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mr. Duterte reminded his children to be humble even if they now held the reins of power in their stronghold.
“This is what I tell you, my children. Stay humble. Do not flaunt that power,” he said.
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