LETTERS FROM DAVAO:  Belittling yet scared of Sara 

LETTERS FROM DAVAO: Belittling yet scared of Sara 

by Jun Ledesma, Columnist, Philippines News Agency

Belittling yet scared of Sara 


HOW can Davao City Inday Sara Duterte deter anyone from running for any elective position? For that matter, how can one inherit an elective post making it sound and appear like it can be handed to an heir on a silver platter? Whoever thinks we are a monarchy where power may be inherited might want to explain why it was right for Benigno Simeon Aquino III and Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to be elected President but wrong for Sara Z. Duterte.

How can one complain in social media as if President Rodrigo Duterte, mocked and belittled by the powers that be as an uncouth and unrefined man from the boondocks of Mindanao, could block those who wish to seek an elective post? And what made them think that while Duterte’s party mates want him to run as Vice President, the President himself would instead scoot back to Davao and spend time with his grandchildren? What can you make out of another character who looks like putschist Antonio Trillanes who thinks that democracy in this country will be threatened if another Duterte will be elected President?

This is a serious malady and I don’t know whether this is caused by a coronavirus. Not a few politicians who had been harboring a secret ambition to become President had become psychogenic. My gosh! Inday Sara is having her hands full attending to problems arising from the sudden surge of Covid cases in her City and preparing for the launch of vital projects stalled by the pandemic. With all the potshots at her, she stoically remained quiet. It was only during her birthday that the national media took notice of her with the number of well-wishers coming to Davao City to greet her.  The Mayor graciously received them. They were her friends so what’s the fuss?

At this point, while Mayor Inday Sara is leading in surveys, she remains to be mum about her political plans. And that makes those who are salivating for the Presidency confused, irritated and while hallucinating are enviously mad at her for being so quiet but yet leading in surveys. 

Inday Sara is indeed an enigma not only to the opposition but to the ruling party. Strong-willed, independently minded she tracked her own political future after the tutelage of her father. Just recently she declared that she will not join her father’s party, PDP-Laban,  and will remain only with the Regional Party Hugpong ng Pagbabago and Hugpong ng Tawong Lungsod. 

It was an assertive declaration that may have rooted from her tussle with then-Speaker Pantaleon “Bebot” Alvarez when the latter branded HnP as an opposition party. Bebot’s ridiculous claim incensed Inday.  The father’s warning to Alvarez that Inday is the Alpha in the family may have not sunk in on the Speaker for in what looks like a political blitzkrieg Alvarez found himself unseated. 

Bebot’s debacle not only placed the iron lady from the south in the limelight but also the phenomenal rise of regional parties into a formidable alliance. That alliance which had gained more adherence of late is emerging to be Inday Sara’s potential political force. In retrospect, she is right for Alvarez jumped ship from the ruling party where he was Secretary-General and mounted a bitter criticism against the President. He also resuscitated the virtually dead Partido ng Demokratikong Reporma then launched what he termed as voters education fora where he calls for the choice of a leader in 2022. One who got “balls” he enunciates with a grin. This time Mayor Inday Sara allowed him to rant although Covid-19 had instead grounded the ex-Speaker for months now, unseen in public, and make his dwindling allies and even his adversaries in limbo. 

But then who is saying that Inday is running for President and the father as VP? Does anyone have the Divine right to say that they must not? Time and again President  Duterte stressed that he will go home to Davao immediately after the expiration of his term. In an interview with Pastor Apollo Quiboloy in his “Give Us This Day” segment, the President again reiterated his desire to retire from politics, accept a rest house offered to him by his friend Apollo in the idyllic Prayer Mountain retreat. 

Still, the opposition is not taking their statements as biblical truth. That is why they are going nuts. X-Justice Antonio Carpio and his fellow convenors of 1Sambayan coalition are not at ease. Carpio said they have issued invitations to everybody who is anybody to a meeting where they will announce the names of their candidates. But the hoopla ended into a whimper as Sen. Panfilo Lacson declined the invitation. Lacson who is the author and sponsor of the Anti-Terrorism Law must have realized he will be sleeping with strange bedfellows. 

Carpio, the ex-Justice, had been carping against another Duterte talking over the helm of government. He accused the President of being a dictator and condescendingly remarked that Inday Sara is “not qualified under their coalition”.

Let’s take it from the Mayor herself: ‘I do not understand why 1Sambayan and the Palace are playing a slapping game about a Duterte-Duterte tandem”. “The President already said he does not believe I am fit to be President because I am a woman.”

For those who hanker for the Presidency but are scared of  Inday Sara Duterte, the more you say she will “inherit the position” or “not qualified under the coalition” and “not fit being a woman”, I’d say: do not stretch your luck too far. Remember this woman can punch a sheriff in defense of the poor, jettison the 4th most powerful man in the Philippines to uphold the truth, and can call the Makabayan bloc right on their faces as   “the milking cow of terrorists”. You are pushing her into the Presidential race track.  Haven’t you heard there’s a throng from all over cheering and prodding her Run Sara Run!


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