The legal adviser of President Rodrigo Duterte is urging him to postpone his retirement from politics and run for vice president in 2022 with daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, for president.
Salvador Panelo, who served as Duterte’s campaign lawyer in 2016, believes that a Duterte-Duterte tandem in the next elections would be unbeatable.
“Between us, huwag ninyo na lang sasabihin sa iba. Sikreto. Gusto ko itong Presidenteng ito tumakbong bise presidente sa kanyang tatakbo o pinatatakbo rin na anak na si Mayor Sara Duterte na presidente. O di po ba, ang ganda — Duterte-Duterte. O wala na. Patay na, patay na oposisyon kapag tumakbo itong dalawang ito.,” said Panelo in his TV program.
Panelo said the father and daughter ran as tandem before in Davao City. “Mayor si Presidente Duterte. Yung Vice Mayor niya, ‘yung anak niya na si Mayor Sara Duterte. Maniwala ba kayo nung nagtandem yung dalawa, wala nang tumakbo. Paano ka tatakbo, hindi sila lalabas. Ganoonn katindi, kalakas,” he said.
Duterte has been vocal about his desire to cut short his term because of his frustration with critics and losing war against corruption and his health concerns.
Duterte has likewise publicly appealed to Sara not to run for president because it was a thankless job.
But political pundits see this as similar to Duterte’ successful ploy of playing the reluctant candidate until the start of the campaign.
But Panelo believes that Sara would agree to run for president just like her father did in 2016.
“Itong dalawang ito parehong ayaw tumakbo . Butsabi ko nga kay Mayor Sara, you have an appointment with history and a date with destiny. Hindi po ba. Ganyan nangyari kay presidente noon. 10 taon nating niligawan, bwinisit na tumakbo. ayaw niya talagang tumakbo. pero naka-destindo ka wala ang magagawa, naka destinido ka,” said Panelo.
In December 2019, a pre-election survey that showed that the daughter-father tandem emerged as the top candidates for the two highest positions in government which Panelo claimed brought a smile on the face of Duterte.
Panelo said it has been the “emerging idea” of the older Duterte’s fans and supporters to push him to join the vice-presidential race in 2022.