President Rodrigo Duterte, as well as Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, still have high hopes that Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte will consider the public’s clamor for her to join the 2022 presidential race.
“The President and I have the same sentiment, and that [is] we are hoping that Sara Duterte will still run for president,” Roque said partly in Filipino in a virtual presser on Thursday.
Roque issued the statement, a day after Sara asked for public understanding as she rejected anew the calls for her to run for president next year.
In a Facebook post, Sara said it “pains” her not to heed her supporters’ call for her to gun for presidency but stressed that she is decided to finish her final term as mayor before seeking a higher post.
Roque, however, said he and Duterte hoped that Sara would make a “right decision” with regard to her final political plans in 2022.
“So, all we can say right now is we’re praying for Mayor Sara to make the right decision. But in seeking the guidance of God, be reminded that the voice of the people is the voice of God,” he said.
Duterte, Roque said, believes that Sara is the most qualified to be his successor.
“The President has, from the very beginning, believed that she is the most able candidate for president. And apparently, it’s not just I who agree with it, it’s also the rest of the Filipino people, if we are to believe surveys as reflective of the people’s sentiments,” Roque said.
According to Pulse Asia’s Sept. 6 to 11 poll, Sara remains the top pick among the preferred presidential candidates in the 2022 elections.
In his previous speeches, Duterte repeatedly said he does not want Sara to seek the presidency to spare her from the “vagaries of politics in the Philippines.”
Quizzed as to what changed Duterte’s mind to support his daughter’s possible presidential run, Roque said “nothing has changed” since Sara is the Chief Executive’s preferred presidential candidate “from the very start.”