While stating her reluctance, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte continues to be the choice of many Filipinos as the successor of her father President Rodrigo Duterte which, in turn, emboldened scammers to exploit the situation.
Sara on a video post Thursday warned the public of swindlers using her name to gather campaign funds supposedly for a presidential run in next year’s elections.
She asked polling firms, previously, to remove her name in the list of presidential bets in the upcoming 2022 national elections.
In a video released by her office, Sara clarified that she has not given permission to anyone to solicit financial support from different organizations including from those in the business sector to back her possible bid for the presidency.
Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo, nonetheless, said the feisty local official is the ideal person to be the country’s next president, considering her excellent track record and exceptional leadership.
Panelo said Sara has demonstrated all the traits that every Philippine president should possess, including having political will, courage and passion to serve the people.
“I have seen all your qualities, Mayor Sara. That’s why regardless of whether you’re the daughter (of the President) or not, I want you (to be his successor),” Panelo said during his recent commentary show “Counterpoint.”
He also reiterated the need for the “continuity of the Duterte leadership.”
Panelo, nevertheless, said the ultimate decision on who deserves to be Duterte’s successor would come from the Filipino people.
“That’s for the people to decide. The idea has been floated. It’s the Filipinos or the Filipino people (who) will either take it or reject it. It’s for the people also to make it flourished,” he said.
On 14 January, the President said he does not want his daughter to run for President in 2022 because the job is unsuitable for a woman.
Always be on guard
Sara urged the public to be wary when it comes to solicitation of money.
“It has come to my attention that there are individuals who are soliciting money from different people and different groups, including businessmen, to raise campaign fund for the presidential race,” she indicated.
“I did not permit these activities. Do not fall for their schemes. This is a scam,” she added.
Duterte explained the funds being collected by alleged scammers will only be used for their personal interest.
She also asked the public to report the scammers to proper authorities.
“I will reiterate, please do not give them money. Please don’t fall for their trick. You may report these activities to the nearest police station,” Sara indicated.
Noting the 2022 elections is “farthest from the minds of many Filipinos,” she asked his countrymen not to be distracted as the country is still grappling with the pandemic.
In the last elections, Duterte has showcased her influence when she campaigned for 13 senatorial bets allied with Hugpong ng Pagbabago — Davao’s regional political party which she chairs.
Of the 13 candidates she endorsed, nine were elected to the Senate.