MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte once wanted his daughter Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, to seek the presidency in the 2022 elections, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said on Tuesday.
Roque said the president, during a private conversation “some time ago,” “volunteered” the information that he wanted Sara to join the presidential race.
“I think it was some time ago nilapitan niyan ako sa Davao and he volunteered the information. ‘Spox, kailangan mo malaman ito ano. Gusto talaga nating patakbuhin si Inday Sara pero talagang ayaw,’” Roque said during a Palace briefing.
“’So kinakailangan mamili tayo who has the numbers between sa tatlo,’” he added.
Roque said the three possible candidates that Duterte named were Senator Manny Pacquiao, Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso, and former Senator Ferdinand “BongBong” Marcos Jr.
The Palace official made the disclosure when quizzed by members of the media as to the possible cause of the falling out between Duterte, who is the PDP-Laban chairman, and the party’s acting president, Pacquiao.
“Actually, it was a complete surprise kasi hindi pa naman pini-preclude ni Presidente na puwede namang dati ‘no, na maendorso pa si Senator Pacquiao pero hindi yata nakaantay si Senator Pacquiao,” he said.
Duterte earlier challenged Pacquiao to support his claims that corruption is rampant during the Duterte administration.
When asked if the president wants the senator out of the PDP-Laban, Roque did not answer the queries but instead said that the president does not have long-standing ties with the political party.
“I think it’s sufficient for me to divulge right now that he recognizes that fact that PDP-Laban is the Party of the Pimentel family,” he said.
Senator Aquilino ”Koko” Pimentel, for his part, said internal issues within the party should be settled “internally and privately.”
Pimentel, who serves as PDP-Laban’s executive vice chair, earlier said that Pacquiao is a “good choice” for the party’s presidential bet in next year’s elections.