By Ben Rosario
KIDAPAWAN CITY, Cotabato – Filipinos will have to endure President Rodrigo Duterte’s manner of lambasting critics and the political opposition with highly offensive statements that are laced with vulgar words until his term ends in 2022.
Even his daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte seemed resigned to this fact as she noted that there was no way anybody can convince her father to change the way he speaks about foes.
The Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP) chairperson made this admission to reporters as she and her HNP senatorial team temporarily signed off from national campaign to observe Holy Week.
Observed by the HNP campaign embedded media team as a deeply religious person, the young Duterte usually starts the day with a visit at a Catholic church in the locality that she and her team are visiting for the campaign.
The Catholic church, its leaders and its religious customs and tradition, have usually been in the crosshairs of the President.
In a rally in Tuguegarao, Duterte went ballistic as he aimed strongly-worded statements against Church leaders and even called Otso Diretso senatorial candidate Florin Hilbay “a gay.”
“The president is someone na hindi mo masabihan kung ano yung dapat niyang gawin . He has been like that since Mayor of Davao City especially during our campaign,” explained Mayor Duterte. (You can no longer counsel the president what he should do)
“I do not think magbabago pa yan, you cannot really teach an old dog with new tricks specially sa character ni President Duterte,” she told reporters during an interview here. she added. (I don;’t think it will change.)
Asked if the chief executive’s antics will result into a Catholic vote for the opposition Otso Diretso senatorial candidates, the lady mayor said she was not convinced it will.
“The HNP supporters are not affected by the pronouncements of the President. I think they (HNP senatorial bets) will also get the Catholic votes on their own),” she stressed.
Earlier, Mayor Duterte refuted the accusation made by Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founding chair Jose Maria Sison that the president was planning to ensure victory for administration bets by cheating on May 13.
Interviewed in Digos City, Sara gave an assurance that her father has never cheated in an election, pointing out that Duterte has taught his children the lessons of fighting fair and square in any competition, especially in the election.
“I’m sure hindi ‘yan kayang gawin ni President Duterte (na mandaya in an election),” said Mayor Duterte. (President Duterte will not resort to cheating)
According to her, it was the president who imbibed in her the true meaning of winning.
“There is no honor and pride by winning through cheating,” she said.