Panelo explains why Sara shouldn't run for vice president

Former Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo has rejected proposals for Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio to run for vice president in the May 2022 polls, saying such move will turn her into an "unproductive and dormant bureaucrat spare tire", should she win.

Former Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo (MANILA BULLETIN)

"The warrior in her has been awakened," Panelo said in a statement sent to Malacañang reporters Thursday, Nov. 11. He was obviously referring to the presidential daughter's recent decision to withdraw from the Davao mayoralty race, allegedly in order to pursue a national position.

"She is now ready to unsheathe her flaming sword and continue to slay the remaining dragons of corruption, criminality, illegal drugs, and terrorism commenced by even as she prepares to immortalize the walking testaments of the sweeping reforms in the social and political landscape including the breathtaking infrastructure projects envisioned and undertaken by the President," he said in his usual dramatic prose.

"But wait...what is this scuttlebutt that is gaining traction that Mayor Sara Duterte will run for the vice-presidency instead of the presidency?" Panelo ask, alluding to rumors that she might become the running mate of presidential aspirant, former Senator Bongbong Marcos.

"On the assumption that she indeed expressed support for a presidential candidate, let us disabuse the mind of those who may share what evidently is a misplaced if not erroneous rationalization on why Mayor Sara is chained to seeking the second slot of the electoral contest by virtue of such an endorsement," Panelo said.

"The raison d’etre of the people’s clamor for Sara to get a crack at the presidency and her opening herself to such an idea is precisely to have a continuity of the legacies that her father is set to bequeath to the Filipino nation," he noted.

The ex-Palace official said that for Duterte-Carpio to slide to the vice presidential post "would be anathema to such intended endeavor and devoid of reasoned judgement even as it is contrary to the interest of the people’s aspirations and general welfare".

"As Vice President Sara will be relegated to the shadow of the elected President, and if the latter does not have parallel advocacies in the art of governance, then she becomes not only an unproductive and dormant bureaucrat spare tire but just like the current one, she could unwillingly end up a critical and disruptive voice to the next administration and continue the vexing cycle of disharmonious relationship of a president and vice president," he said.

Panelo also said that a vice presidential bid from Duterte-Carpio would place her in a collision course with Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) bet Senator Christopher Lawrence "Bong" Go, her father President Duterte's close friend.

But a few days ago, a tearful Go had heavily hinted at "changing" his political plans, mentioning the vice presidential race, although he didn't say anything about Duterte-Carpio. At any rate, Panelo acknowledged the "rumored rift between the two".

"Moreover, the legions, nay the millions of Sara Duterte’s admirers and advocates who received with immeasurable joy her withdrawal as candidate for Davao City Mayor, an helluva positive sign that she is running for the presidency, will receive with hostile disfavor and eternal anguish such downgrading of an aspired position," Panelo said.

"Will Inday Sara plunge her countless supporters, who have hungered for so long her return to the hustings, and who have stormed heavens with prayers for her re-entry in the presidential race, to an epileptic seizure of despair by running for vice president ? Or will she lift them to heaven in ecstatic bliss by running for president?" he asked.

"So what will it be Inday Sara? As a song with a slight revision goes: Que Sara Sara. What will be, will be," Panelo said.

Panelo is vying for a Senate seat under the ticket of the ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban).