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Sara’s star rises

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The recent polls were touted as a plebiscite on the first half of President Rodrigo Duterte’s six-year term, but it turned out to be an opportunity for the political star of his daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, to shine.

Sara burst into national consciousness long before Mr. Duterte came into office when she walloped a sheriff who disobeyed her directive to hold the implementation of a court order to demolish shanties in 2011.

As mayor of Davao City, a position her father held for more than two decades, Sara emerged as an influential leader in her own right by steering the regional party that carried the administration’s 13 candidates for Senator.

Midterm elections were also the occasion to look for a possible successor or challenger to the incumbent and none had emerged from among the candidates.

Instead, the administration candidates gravitated toward Sara for inspiration and leadership.
The regional party that Sara co-founded, Hugpong ng Pagbabago, thus, became the de facto administration coalition while President Rodrigo Duterte campaigned for his picks under his party Partido Demokratiko Pilipino.

Sara rallied supporters and political allies behind the administration candidates which the President said he needed badly to push his remaining legislative agenda which would be pivotal to the success of his administration.

Mr. Duterte admitted that Sara is being groomed to take over the political baton for the Dutertes. “But now Inday (Sara) is the one taking the lead and she’s the one who controls politics.”

Sara denied having any ambition to take over the helm of national leadership but as always, like the experience of his father, the presidency is a divine appointment coursed through the clamor of the people.

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