Senators eye first daughter Sara Duterte for presidential bid

AS the presidential daughter and Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP) chairwoman Sara Duterte-Carpio increased her public presence for her political party, the public buzzed anew with talks of her possibly succeeding her father President Rodrigo Duterte.

Four senators already expressed their support for the first daughter despite Duterte-Carpio’s statement that she will announce her decision to seek a national post by January 2021.

Re-electionist Senator Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara said that the younger Duterte is seen to have all the qualifications of a good leader with training from none other than the Chief Executive himself.  

“I think she’s one of the potential future leaders of the country because she has the qualifications — a lawyer, has (the) heart for the masses and, of course, she has a mentor – who better to mentor her than President Duterte?”  Angara said as reported by The Philippine Star.

Angara said that the Davao City mayor’s attendance to HNP rallies would serve as her training ground in order to become the leader that is familiar with the issues and struggles of the Filipino people.  

“Mayor Sara has the training, experience, savvy and going around the country with HNP will only give her a better perspective on the country’s problems,” the re-electionist senator said as reported by Manila Standard.

The senatorial candidate also foreshadowed the possibility that Duterte-Carpio would skip right to the presidency from a mayoral position since she has the “makings of a good president.”

“I think nothing’s impossible now. Because President Duterte broke the barrier. He was the first mayor to go straight to (the) president. Usually, you pass through the Senate first. So it’s not unheard of for a local official to become president,” he said.

Another senatorial candidate Senator Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito described the presidential daughter as “principled, intelligent and firm.” He said, “These are good qualities of a great leader. Not to mention she has the charm.”

Both Angara and Ejercito were among the 13 senatorial candidates endorsed by the first daughter’s regional political party, the HNP. The rest includes Koko Pimentel, Cynthia Villar, Pia Cayetano, Bong Revilla, Francis Tolentino, Bong Go, Ronald dela Rosa, Zajid Mangudadatu, Jiggy Manicad, Imee Marcos and Jinggoy Estrada.

Aside from the mentioned senatorial candidates, other senators also expressed their approval of another Duterte taking the presidential seat.

Senator Panfilo Lacson picked Duterte-Carpio as his “top choice” among the “young emerging leaders” to become the country’s next chief executive. The senator also boasted of the presidential daughter’s “good leadership qualities.”

“Just like what I’ve said during a news forum—among the young emerging leaders, Mayor Sara Duterte is somebody we may be looking at,” Lacson said as he described Sara Duterte as “strong-willed, stern, vibrant, and progressive-minded.”

However, Senate President Vicente Sotto III said that it is too soon to talk about the presidential elections during the campaign period for the senatorial and local bid. He said that the Davao City mayor’s reluctance is understandable.

“Many things can still happen. The political landscape sees major changes after the midterm elections. So, it’s better if the issue will be ventilated after 2019 (senatorial and local elections),” Sotto said.

Sara Duterte focuses on HNP campaign

Despite talks of her possible presidential bid, the young Duterte seemed to focus more on campaigning for her Senate slate. Duterte-Carpio on Tuesday, February 19, went to Isabela province for a campaign caravan in Santiago City.

“Ang kailangan kasi namin ngayon ay madaming madaming madaming kaibigan para tumulong sa mga senators, so ayan ‘yung hinahanap namin sa buong bansa ngayon, mga kaibigan ng Hugpong ng Pagbabago (What we really need now are lots and lots and lots of friends to help our senatorial line-up. So that’s what we’re looking for across the country, friends of Hugpong ng Pagbabago),” Duterte-Carpio said as reported by Rappler.

She also went on a “spiritual journey” as she stopped by seven churches from Laoag, Ilocos Norte to Santiago, Isabela with her Yamaha XSR900 motorcycle dubbed as “Ella” to “pray for the success of all HNP candidates.”

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