President Rodrigo Duterte and Davao City Mayor Sara "Inday" Z. Duterte (Presidential Photo)

MANILA – President Rodrigo R. Duterte on Tuesday maintained that he is opposed to the idea of letting his daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara “Inday” Duterte, join the 2022 presidential derby.

Duterte made the remarks after Surigao del Sur Governor Alexander Pimentel, during a situational briefing on the impact of Tropical Storm Auring held in Tandag City, urged the President to convince either his daughter or his former long-time aide, Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go, to run for president in 2022.

Responding to Pimentel’s call, the President said, “Inday Sara is not running. I have really, really put my foot down.”

During the situational briefing, Pimentel told Duterte that Sara and Go could continue the President’s legacy.

“Ang request po namin, may continuity. Dapat isa sa administration ang ko-continue lahat nang ginagawa niyo po, lahat ng achievement (Our request is there should be continuity. One of the administration allies should continue all your achievements),” he said.

Pimentel also warned Duterte that his accomplishments would go to waste, in case his successor comes from the opposition.

“Kasi baka kung iba ang Presidente, tanggalin lahat iyan. Papaano na kami? Kailangan may continuity. So, kailangan kumbinsihin natin si Inday Sara or Senator Bong Go (If the next president belongs to the opposition, they would ignore your accomplishments. How about us? There should be continuity. So we should convince Inday Sara or Senator Bong Go),” he said.

Pimentel’s call came after Sara emerged as the top choice for president and vice president in the non-commissioned survey conducted by OCTA Research from January 26 to February 1.

She topped the poll as 22 percent of respondents preferred her to be her father’s successor.

Go was also included on the list, getting 6 percent in the independent survey.

Duterte, however, said he could not afford to see his daughter indulge in “dirty politics.”

Sara, he said, might only be subjected to harassment by his critics, including former senator Antonio Trillanes IV.

“Naaawa ako sa anak ko. Ang pulitika dito sa Pili(pinas), kababuyan. Lalo na si Trillanes (I pity my daughter. Politics in the Philippines is dirty, especially if there is someone like Trillanes),” Duterte said. “Be careful of Trillanes. Magbantay (Be mindful). He will sell you to the devil pag ‘yan ang nakaupo. Patay (He will sell you to the devil if he sits in government. That’s a disaster).”

Tarpaulins bearing oversized letters “Run, Sara, Run” have sprouted in different parts of the country, including Davao City and Metro Manila.

Despite mounting calls for her to run, Sara has repeatedly said she has no plan to run for president in 2022.

She has also told her supporters that she might only be convinced to seek the presidency by 2034, if at that time there is something (she) can do to help the country.”

The President has repeatedly discouraged Sara from pursuing the presidential bid, as he wants to spare her the difficulty of being the country’s chief executive. (PNA)