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Sara imperative for continuity

Chito Lozada

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Former presidential spokesman Harry Roque has bared the necessity of Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte gunning for the top post of the land to pursue the successful programs of her father, President Rodrigo Duterte, that had led to the speedy development of the nation.

Roque said in the weekly “PAIRfect” online discussion of the Daily Tribune that “only Sara can continue the initiative of the President.”

The President’s daughter has not indicated her plans for 2022 but President Rodrigo Duterte had advised her against it.

Mayor Duterte leads the administration-backed regional party Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HnP) and talks of her possible run for president in 2022 became louder after the administration-backed candidates who formed a coalition under HnP made it to the Senate.

Roque indicated that if Sara does not run, Sen. Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go automatically becomes the successor.

“If Sara, however, becomes President, Alan Peter Cayetano will likely be the Minority Leader,” Roque said refering to the Speaker of the House of Representatives who is known to have a political friction with the President’s daughter.

The younger Duterte, nonetheless, has the most solid chance of being the next in line for the Presidency even against the emerging political stars.

Yorme’s match

“Head on,” the Davao City Mayor will handily beat Manila Mayor Isko Moreno in a face off for the presidency, he predicted.

The Davao City Mayor backed the aborted Senate bid of Roque as it was she who helped him secure a nomination for the senatorial race under the People’s Reform Party (PRP) of the late Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago.

Santiago, dubbed as the “Iron Lady of Asia,” succumbed to lung cancer in 2016.

“It was mayor Sara who arranged for me to have a CoNA (Certificate of Nomination and Acceptance) from PRP,” Roque said.

It was the Davao City Mayor who talked to Presidential Adviser on Revenue Enhancement Narciso “Jun” Santiago Jr., the husband of the late senator, about a CoNA under Santiago’s party.

Roque declined an invitation from ruling party Partido Demokratiko Pilipino (PDP) to be a part of their senatorial line-up.

“I was offered a seat in PDP, which I am grateful for, but if I am going to run, it cannot be as a traditional politician,” Roque indicated then.

Parent’s concern

The President had repeatedly warned his daughter against targeting Malacañang saying that he does not want his daughter to go through the experiences he went through.
“I pity my daughter. I have already experienced the presidency,” Duterte had said.

If Sara does not run, Sen. Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go automatically becomes the successor.

“Do not believe the so-called clamor of the people because when the water gets rough you’ll find that you’re the only one sailing the lonely sea,” he added.

Duterte previously said the presidency could both “educate” and “destroy” his eldest daughter.

Mayor Duterte, for her part, explained that her decision to run for president will depend on the circumstances but she could make a decision prior to the campaigns.

Running for president required money, machinery and guidance from God, she said.

Last May, presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said Sara can decide on her own about a possible presidential run.

“We know Mayor Sara has her own independent mind. We have to leave that to Mayor Sara herself,” he added.

He, however, admitted that despite her father’s warning, Sara “might rise to the challenge” if there’s a clamor for her to run.

Panelo said the President’s warning was his way of showing concern for his children.

“I think that’s a genuine concern for this President. He loves his children; he doesn’t want them to suffer,” he added.

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