DAVAO CITY – Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio has changed her tone on the push for her presidency, saying she would have consultation with the public to determine if she is running for the top position.
In her Special Hour in Davao City Disaster Radio on Monday, the presidential daughter admitted that her visit to Cebu is to oblige requests from close friends and supporters who had asked her to run for president this coming 2022 national election.
Her meeting with Cebu Governor Gwen Garcia Friday focused on the operations of the Cebu International Airport and a tour on the provincial capitol historical museum which the mayor wanted to establish in Davao City.
Duterte-Carpio also talked about the elections, and said she is now “open” to any possibilities. She had asked the governor that her party Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP) will conduct consultation in her province to scan for the seemingly growing support for her candidacy.
The mayor said she aims to consult the public and not her allies to gauge the opinion and support of the public.
“Ang akong rason man gud ana, giingon nako ang akong mga kauban ug amigo nga kung kita-kita ray mag-istorya dinhi of course I would expect you to say nga sige dagan day, dagan Inday Sara because amigo man nako sila. Ang importante ani is asking the people nga dili nato amigo kung unsa ba ang ilahang thoughts about that,” she said.
(There’s a reason for that, I’m telling my colleagues and friends that if we are talking to each other of course I would expect you to say yes, run Inday, run Inday Sara, because we are friends. What’s important here is asking the people who are not our friends to know their thoughts about it.)
Duterte said she is not a believer of surveys conducted by Social Weather Station and Pulse Asia where the Duterte name has been getting high ratings.
“Ang importante sa ako is pulso sa mga tao nga naa didto. Although dili siya scientific but it is a good gauge kung nakaila ba sila sa imuha o ganahan sila sa imuha didto na lugar, (What’s important is to know the pulse of the public. Although it may not be scientific but it is a good gauge if they know you or they like you in their community)” she said.
The Pulse Asia presidential survey conducted at the end of 2020 showed Duterte-Carpio topping the list with a 26% vote, leading other contenders by double digits such as Bongbong Marcos and Grace Poe .
Despite her lead in the survey and early campaign billboards made by supporters all over the country, the mayor has said she is not interested in the presidency and would like to wait until 2034. She told her supporters there is “no chance” to change her decision.
The mayor said her commitment for supporters and other political leaders is to “ask (the public) as much as I can with the remaining months (prior to the) filing of candidacy.”
Her recent statement showed a change of tact, which seem to be part of the Duterte strategy used by her father President Rodrigo who earlier refused to seek the presidency in 2016 despite a strong push from social media and politicians, only to change his stand befoe the start of the presidential campaign.
Sara Duterte’s first entry into politics also saw a strategy where she joined her father, the mayor in Davao in 2007, in making rounds in barangays consulting constituents to allow another Duterte to run for public office. This paved the way for her election as vice mayor in 2007.