By Ellson Quismorio
Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte’s alleged future election plans is stealing the thunder from her very own Hugpong Ng Pagbabago (HNP) Senate slate, Akbayan Party-List Rep. Tom Villarin said.
“I think that Mayor Sara Duterte is overdoing her role as campaign manager and is projecting more herself than her senatorial bets,” reckoned the opposition congressman.
According to Villarin, the lady mayor’s style in handling the HNP campaign sorties around the country has actually been undermining the regional party’s bets.
Villarin went as far to say that President Rodrigo Duterte’s daughter has been “sabotaging” the chances of the HNP senatorial line up come the midterm elections on May 13.
“She unwittingly is sabotaging the entire HNP senatorial slate,” he said.
“Her challenge to personally debate all the ‘Otso Diretso’ bets, her media-hogging, incessant tirades against the opposition senatorial bets, among others, betrays her intent — that of being a candidate for a higher post in 2022,” further claimed Villarin, who hails from Davao.
Otso Diretso refers to the opposition senatorial line up, which has become the 40-year-old mayor’s favorite punching bag as of late based on her speeches and interviews in their campaign caravan.
The Davao chief executive had actually addressed the rumor of her running for a higher position in government–specifically the presidency–a few weeks back. She said she would rather not be referred to as her father’s successor and that she would only decide on whether or not to pursue a Palace run in January 2021.
But Villarin insisted that Mayor Duterte has been habitually upstaging the senatorial candidates that she is supposed to be endorsing.
“It’s unfair to her slate and to the electorate who are entitled to know about who the candidates are,” he said.
Comprising the HNP line-up are 13 individuals. There are reelectionist Senators Sonny Angara, Cynthia Villar, Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III, and Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito; Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos; former presidential assistant Bong Go; former Senators Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada and Bong Revilla; former presidential spokesman Harry Roque; Deputy Speaker and Taguig City-Pateros 2nd district Rep. Pia Cayetano; former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Bato dela Rosa; Maguindanao Rep. Zajid Mangudadatu; former presidential political adviser Francis Tolentino, and former veteran broadcast journalist Jiggy Manicad.
Meanwhile, other lawmakers have given glowing comments about the political future of Mayor Duterte, who is viewed to be just as tough and charismatic as her old man.
House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, a former president and herself a presidential daughter, had described the lady mayor as a “rising star” in local politics.
Senators Panfilo Lacson and Angara have also said that they see the qualities of a great leader in “Inday Sara.”