DAVAO CITY — Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio has decided to remain silent on what her plans are for the presidential race in 2022, saying addressing the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic is a more difficult task that she wants to focus on.
During her live interview over Davao City Disaster Radio (DCDR 87.5) on Wednesday, Carpio did not respond when asked about the statement made by her father, President Rodrigo R. Duterte, during the latter’s visit to Kuta General Teodulfo Bautista Headquarters in Jolo, Sulu last July 13, where he told the mayor to take his place only if she is “driven by patriotism.”
“We are in the time of the pandemic, maybe let’s not talk about things that are not yet in front of us,” she said.
Duterte told Carpio, his eldest daughter with ex-wife Elizabeth Zimmerman, that she better not gun for the country’s highest post, unless driven by patriotism and that she really wants to serve the country, given the enormity of the responsibilities and the attendant problems that come with being President.
“I told Inday (Carpio), do not run for President unless you see something that you can do for your country. But if it is just a matter of ambition, lay off,” he added.
Duterte warned she would only get exhausted from doing the multitude of tasks of the President.
“You will get nothing but exhaustion. You go to the mountains, you do just about everything, you go around because of service. But if you say — if you steal… Nothing, just exhaustion,” he said.
The President served as mayor of Davao City from 1988 to 1998, representative of the first district from 1998 to 2001, and mayor again from 2001 to 2010, vice mayor to his daughter-mayor from 2010 to 2013, and mayor from 2013 to 2016.
Carpio ran for mayor in 2016, the same year her father ran for President. She was re-elected in 2019.
But the presidential daughter said she is more concerned about the problem of addressing the pandemic, and how the people of Davao can continue on with their lives despite COVID-19.
The number of COVID-19 cases in the city has continued to rise as the government eased quarantine measures.
As of July 15, the Department of Health-Davao reported 25 new cases, bringing the total to 483, with 39 deaths, and 458 recoveries. Of the total COVID-19 cases, 613 are in Davao City, 81 in Davao del Norte, 32 in Davao del Sur, 59 in Davao de Oro, 53 in Davao Oriental, and five in Davao Occidental.
Carpio said addressing the pandemic is a difficult task and that she does not want to concern herself over things other than her deliverables in public service.
“What should concern us is that there is a pandemic and how we can go on with our lives despite this, and how we can continue the things that we need to do in the government, other than the things we need to do outside of the COVID-19 pandemic,” she said.