Her mother’s daughter Davao Mayor Sara

Published March 14, 2019, 12:03 AM

by Charissa Luci-Atienza & Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat

e-cartoon-mar-14-2019-revisedIn the heat of political passion,  political leaders  are apt to get carried away in their campaign  for the voters’  support. So it has been in the ongoing campaign for candidates for senator by the pro-administration  “Hugpong  ng  Pagbabago” and the opposition “Otso Diretso.”

However, more than the attacks and counter-attacks of the candidates , there has been  an exchange  of barbs  between two opposing  party  leaders – who are not candidates  themselves.  Davao City Mayor Sara  Duterte  Carpio  has been leading the administration  team of “Hugpong” in rallies around the country, while Vice President  Leni Robredo  has been  campaigning for her fellow Liberal Party candidates and their allies in “Otso Diretso.”

The exchange between the two sides reached a point where they traded charges and counter-charges  over honesty  and  integrity in public service. The Robredo  camp called on the mayor  to avoid issuing statements based on “fake news.”   The  latter called on  Robredo  a  “fake  VP” and  alleged massive fraud in   her election in 2016.

Into this increasingly   bitter exchange,  Mayor Sara’s mother  stepped  last  Sunday.  Mrs. Elizabeth Zimmerman Duterte  called her daughter and  told her to stop picking fights with the opposition,  stop acting like a bully, and   be “kind,  first before anything else.”  She said: “Everybody  knows  you are Rodrigo’s daughter.  Let the people know that you are also  Elizabeth’s daughter.”  Mayor  Sara  said  she was  heeding her mother’s advice.

The ongoing election campaign  has had  its  share  of   bitter  attacks  which  could quickly degenerate  into  violence, especially when  the campaign period for local government positions is underway.   At  the  end of the election period, we can expect the Commission  on Elections  to  come up not only with the  names of elections winners but also with the names of victims of election violence.

Elections are  the core of  our  Philippine  democracy.  Our  officials  and  our people should  take  all possible steps to keep them free, to keep them clean, to keep them  from  corruption, and  to keep from making permanent  enemies of election foes and  their families.

Ms. Elizabeth  Duterte’s admonition to her daughter Mayor  Sara  to be kind, to not  act like a bully, and to carry on  the election campaign with the highest  level of respect for political opponents,  and  Mayor Sara’s immediate decision to say yes to her mother’s appeal  should help create  true democratic   exchange for a true and peaceful  election.