MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte is a wrangler but the Philippines has only five years left to “take advantage” of his aggressive spirit, said presidential daughter and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio on Monday.
Duterte-Carpio made the statement during the launch of “Tapang at Malasakit Alliance for the Philippines”, an alliance meant to combat “destructive politicking” in the country which for her, “has turned Filipinos against each other.”
The event, which was held at the Marquis Events Place in Taguig City, was attended by some 1,000 Duterte supporters from different groups, Friends of Rodrigo Duterte (FORD), Kamaong Bato, and Duterte Youth, among other allies of the President.
Marquis Events Place was jam-packed with supporters wearing red shirts that others had to stay in a tent set up outside the venue.
In her speech, Duterte-Carpio acknowledged how her father had a tendency to be quarrelsome but noted that this could be viewed as a positive trait.
“Our President is human — very, very imperfect. But he’s a wrangler and we only have five years to take advantage of that warrior spirit, of that aggressive spirit and use him to create better future for our country,” she said.
Duterte-Carpio recalled the time she asked her father not to run during the 2016 national elections, but realized that his reasons for running was to see the country “turn around.”
“Sabi ko sa kanya, ‘‘Huwag kang tumakbo.’ Ilang beses ko sinabi sa kanya. Sinulatan ko pa siya kasi parang hindi siya nakikinig. Sabi niya, kung hindi ako tatakbo, I do not think that this country will turn around,” Duterte-Carpio said.
(“I told him, ‘don’t run’ many times. I even wrote him a letter because it seems like he doesn’t listen to me). But he told me that if he did not run, I do not think that this country will turn around.”)
She, meanwhile, urged supporters and non-supporters alike to rally behind the government and be carriers of “a positive voice” within communities instead of criticizing to bring the country down.
“It’s very bad if you paint a sad and hopeless Philippines outside (the country),” Duterte-Carpio said.
She said that she believes in “dissent” because it is a facet of democracy, but pointed out that lying to oppose was wrong.
“Let us set aside our personal politics that has torn our country every time we have a new President. We need to push and push and push and see a change in five years,” she added.
Aside from Duterte-Carpio, other officials who were present during the launch were Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella, former President and Manila City Mayor Joseph Estrada, Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Cayetano, Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos, former MMDA Chair Francis Tolentino and Public Works and Highways Undersecretary Karen Jimeno, among others. PNA