LETTERS FROM DAVAO

By Jun Ledesma

HARDCORE loyalists of President Rodrigo R. Duterte are mustering the courage to plead to him to give way for Davao City Mayor Inday Sara Duterte to run for President by setting aside his plan to run for Vice President.  

The pillars of Hugpong Ng Pagbabago, a regional party formed and chaired by the lady mayor were startled by Inday Sara’s announcement to shelve any presidential plans after her father accepted the nomination of PDP-Laban for him to run in tandem with Sen. Bong Go for President.  The ever loyal to the Duterte family, however, Senator Bong has verbally, and in writing, declined the party’s nomination. 

Sara who had been a consistent top ranking choice for President in various straw polls moreover has also made it clear that she will not vie for the coveted political post if her father will run as  Vice President.  What boggles the mind though is that while indeed he accepted the party’s nomination the President also issued earlier statements that if Inday Sara runs he will forego running saying “hindi naman puedeng kaming dalawa dyan”.  

A former governor of a province in Davao Region who looks like “Papa” Gov. Arthur “Chongkee” Uy posed a trivia. Can a father, who had raised and molded a child to be a leaders’ leader and have demonstrated so with grit and intellect, not subordinate his interest in favor of that child who has politically matured and wanted by the nation to lead? 

Now take it from University of the Philippines Professor Clarita Carlos. She says:

“While the front runner in the several polls is Sara Duterte, she has announced that she has decided not to run because another member of her family is running... 

I have not met Mayor Duterte but from what I have read about her, I can surmise she is her own person, feisty lady, more fire in her belly, and has vast experience as a local executive... 

I believe her supporters may be able to cajole her to change her mind because, while her rational conscience may be telling her not to run, her supporters may be hoping that she will realize that it is her DUTY to lead them to a BETTER PHILIPPINES!”

Airing her views from UP campus which is a hotbed of scholars that have become leaders of this country and not a few straggled into the insurgency, the admonition aimed at President Duterte and daughter, the Davao City Mayor Inday Sara, carries with it a critical and incisive message.

Professor Claire, however, did not end there. Thus: 

“I am also expecting that the other young candidates for President, like this Mayor, will respond to the continuing clamor for radical changes in our politics... 

That there are young ones also gunning for the top positions in our government, is a welcome relief and is a source of my guarded optimism... 

Trivia: Would that I live long enough to see a BETTER PHILIPPINES...for my children, my grandchildren, and my great-granddaughter...” 

I couldn’t agree more with what Professor Carlos expounded. We have a crop of over-staying legislators in the Senate for example who have outlived their usefulness. They have become overbearing, all-knowing, and insensitive. Consigned to their airconditioned rooms and ergonomic swivel chairs they do not know what is going on outside the chamber and their gated homes. Egotistical and hobbled by arthritis and other comorbidities these characters should be locked down and allow our younger leaders to take over the helms of government. 

The dreaded coronavirus will be here to stay for yet another couple of years. We cannot see a better Philippines if we have leaders in the Executive and Legislative departments in wheelchairs, talkative but senseless, acting like grand inquisitors but whose closets are full of skeletons and worse nearly immobile but haughty. 

Just be the doyens, like Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile, so that maybe the youths of today will be forgiving tomorrow and give you a page or two in the annals of our history. 

About the Columnist

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Mr. Jun Ledesma is a community journalist who writes from Davao City and comments from the perspective of a Mindanaoan.