Davao City—President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday night urged voters in his hometown to rally behind his three children—despite them running unopposed for elective positions—and all their allies under the Hugpong sa Tawong Lungsod, the counterpart of the Hugpong ng Pagbabago regional party, during latter’s miting de avance at the Davao Recreation Center here.
“Ang aking anak na si Inday, botohan [my daughter Inday, vote for her],” said Duterte, who he endorsed the mayoral bid of eldest daughter Sara Duterte-Carpio, who is seeking her third and last term leading Davao City.
He described Sara as “guapa na tisay na Pilipina” (a beautiful mestiza Filipina), which made her smile coyly as she fixed her hair.
“For the first district congressman, Pulong,” added the President, referring to eldest son Paolo Duterte, who resigned as vice mayor of this city over drug allegations but is now running for the congressman.
The Chief Executive then asked for the whereabouts of Paolo Duterte, whose seat between Sara and younger brother Sebastian remained vacant until the program ended at 11 p.m.
“Asan si Pulong?” asked the President, who jestingly told Davaoenos that he foresees his eldest son to be always absent for congressional hearings.
“Tamad (lazy),” the President then blurted out about Paolo, eliciting laughter from the crowd who diligently listened to their former mayor and congressman, who served Davao City for over two decades before becoming president in 2016.
Turning to Sebastian or “Baste” who is running for vice mayor, the President noted he hardly recognized his youngest son during a party in Malacañang owing to his long hair and a thick mustache.
Taking another sharp look at Baste, the President quipped: “Parang bagong laya sa preso (like a newly freed convict)”—apparently owing to Baste’s heavily tattooed arms.
People inside the Almendras gymnasium were laughing at the President’s jokes about his own children, his several encounters in the presidency, and even on his own sexuality and some green jokes. But they cheered the loudest when the firebrand leader hurled tirades and curses at his critics.
Sara, Pulong and Baste are the President’s children with his first wife, Elizabeth Zimmerman. He has a daughter, Veronica or “Kitty” with his common-law wife Honeylet Avanceña.
With his turn at the podium, Baste assured the people he would help boost Davao’s peace and security and its economic growth, further contributing to Mindanao’s development as a region.
Once elected, Baste said he would also find ways to avert possible traffic problems that go with the boom of Davao as a city. He said he does not want the flow of traffic in Davao to be like in Manila.
Despite being a political newcomer, Baste said he can use what he learned from school in the discharge of his duties.
A political science graduate from the Ateneo de Davao University, he vowed to do his job well and help in the growing economy of the city.
He also considered this a good time for him to work for the city’s prosperity since their father is the sitting President.
Duterte said he would limit his outside activities once he steps down from the presidency in June 2022.
“I will leave in three years. I can’t run anymore. I can’t go out on a whim either, because I might be a DDS [Davao Death Squad] victim myself,” he said, noting it would be the perfect time for his enemies to exact revenge on him, following his war on illicit drug operations.