Davao City Mayor Sara “Inday” Duterte is the ideal person to be the country’s next president, considering her excellent track record and exceptional leadership, Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo said Wednesday.
Panelo issued the statement as he renewed his pitch for the possible daughter-and-father tandem of Duterte-Carpio and President Rodrigo Duterte in the 2022 national elections.
Panelo said Sara has demonstrated all the traits that every Philippine president should possess, including having political will, courage, and passion to serve the people.
“I have seen all your qualities, Mayor Sara. That’s why regardless of whether you’re the daughter [of the President] or not, I want you [to be his successor]),” Panelo said partly in Filipino during his commentary show “Counterpoint.”
During his recent meeting with local executives in Pangasinan, Panelo said there is “no legal impediment” that would prevent Duterte-Carpio and her father to run for president and vice president, respectively, in 2022.
Panelo also reiterated the need for the “continuity of the Duterte leadership.”
In an interview with The Manila Times, the President’s daughter rejected calls for her to seek the presidency, stressing that “continuity is not based on kinship.”
Panelo said he wants Duterte-Carpio to be the next president not because of her relationship with the Chief Executive but because of her strong character and leadership skills.
“Mayor Sara is right. It should not be based on kinship. It should really be based on the qualifications,” he said in Filipino.
Had he based it on kinship, he would have picked either Davao City 1st District Rep. Paolo “Pulong” Duterte and Davao City Vice Mayor Sebastian “Baste” Duterte, Panelo said.
“First and foremost, I have not seen from them the qualities a president should possess. Most likely, they have the qualities but I have not seen that,” he said partly in Filipino.
Panelo, nevertheless, said the ultimate decision on who deserves to be Duterte’s successor would come from the Filipino people.
“That’s for the people to decide. The idea has been floated. It’s the Filipinos or the Filipino people [who] will either take it or reject it. It’s for the people also to make it flourished,” he said partly in Filipino.
On Jan. 14, Duterte said he does not want his daughter to run for president in 2022 because presidency is an unsuitable job for a woman.