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Sara: ‘My ship has sailed’

Panelo reminded Duterte-Carpio that her father had dropped his vice-presidential bid and gave way for her presidential run in the next year’s elections



Nothing can convince Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio to run for president in the May 2022 elections anymore. Or so it seems.

She recently likened her possible presidential run to a ship that has sailed — or an opportunity that she will no longer chase, dismissing speculations that she will substitute another presidential aspirant so she can succeed her father, President Rodrigo Duterte.

Duterte-Carpio purportedly made the remark over the weekend while in Cebu, where she met the province’s Gov. Gwen Garcia and presidential hopeful Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.

“I talked to Gov. Gwen Garcia to find out what was discussed in Cebu. Governor Gwen told me that Mayor Sara said of her possibility of running for president, ‘That ship has sailed,’’’ presidential spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque told reporters on Monday.

“Mayor Sara is really running for mayor,” he added.

Roque made the revelation when asked if the Chief Executive, 76, was still convincing his eldest daughter to pursue the presidency.

The Palace official neither elaborated nor disclosed if the older Duterte had attempted anew to persuade his daughter to seek the top government post before the deadline of the substitution of candidates on 15 November.

Duterte-Carpio has yet to confirm Roque’s remarks at press time.

The President earlier said Duterte-Carpio would run for president next year, noting that she is among the frontrunners at pre-election surveys for the presidency. However, she has registered a candidacy for re-election, disappointing five political parties which declared support for her presidential run.

Despite this, Duterte-Carpio visited vote-rich Cebu last Friday sporting a green hoodie that bears “Sara All 2022,” a phrase often used by supporters urging her to run for president.

President Duterte, then-Davao City mayor, won the presidential elections in 2016 despite entering the race as a substitute candidate beyond the filing of candidacy’s deadline.

His political party PDP Laban fielded Sens. Ronald “Bato” de la Rosa and Christopher “Bong” Go for the presidency and vice presidency, respectively.

Bato meets with Sara

De la Rosa visited Duterte-Carpio in Davao City on Monday, a day after the mayor reportedly discussed how her regional party, Hugpong ng Pagbabago, can help the presidential bid of Marcos.

The lawmaker shared a “teaser” of their meeting on his Facebook page, saying: “This is just a teaser of my meeting with Mayor Inday Sara minutes ago at Davao City Hall.”

Pressed for further details, De la Rosa said he went to the province to remind Duterte-Carpio that 15 November “is fast approaching.”

While he denied being a “placeholder” candidate, De la Rosa had repeatedly said he was open to withdrawing his presidential candidacy to give way to Duterte-Carpio should she decide to throw her hat in the presidential derby.

For her part, Duterte-Carpio thanked De la Rosa for his “advice and words of wisdom,” without elaborating details of their discussion.

Panelo to Sara: Think again

On the other hand, senatorial aspirant Salvador Panelo remained bent on persuading Duterte-Carpio to join the 2022 presidential race that he had warned her that she will be perceived as an “ungrateful” and “defiant” daughter if she refuses to pursue the top government post.

In his weekly column “Counterpoint,” Panelo reminded Duterte-Carpio that her father, President Duterte, had dropped his vice-presidential bid and gave way to her presidential run in the next year’s elections.

“In reaching a closure to the suspenseful chapter of her life to finally end the agony and anxiety of her legions of fans and supporters, she must consider undisputed circumstances and weigh them in,” he wrote.

“The perception that she didn’t put a premium on the selfless act of a loving and kind father whose withdrawal from the vice-presidential contest removed the obstacle she herself imposed for not running for president, a selfless act that opened the door precisely for her to reverse her decision, rightly or wrongly, and will linger and somehow impair her image of a grateful daughter and replace it with an undeserved visual illusion of an ungrateful and defiant heir,” he added.

Panelo, who previously served as the President’s spokesperson and chief legal counsel, also said that Duterte-Carpio’s refusal to pursue the presidency will “yield disastrous consequences on her future national political plans” since her supporters will feel betrayed.

“She said she would not run for the presidency. The roaring multitudes would not budge nor agree. They await with frenetic anxiety the verdict that will launch either a thousand anguish and a flood of tears or triumphal jubilation,” he added. with SUNDY LOCUS