DAVAO City Mayor Inday Sara Duterte is on leave from October 5 to 8. Again it has stirred the hornet’s nest. She personally announced that it will be for a medical leave in Singapore but some quarters are not buying that.
Interestingly, the dates the Commission on Elections has set for the filing of Certificates of Candidacy for all elective positions for the May 9, 2022 National and Local Elections is from October 1 to 8 this year. The disappearing act of Mayor Inday elicited speculations. It becomes even more puzzling given the declaration of Pres. Rodrigo Duterte that he is running for Vice President. Tie that up with Mayor Inday Sara’s statement that she and her father have agreed that only one of them will run for the national position. In a much later statement quoting President Duterte saying he is “sensitive to survey results” following a survey on vice presidentiables where he did not fare well and things are getting to be more “curiouser and curiouser”.
The ball is in the hand of the President.
The supporters of the Davao City Mayor, however, have not given up on her. Even the national political parties which had earlier manifested their support for Inday Sara have sustained their commitment to set-aside differences and pledged to stand behind her and gave her the option to select her running mate.
The fragmented opposition parties have only added to the political fortunes of Inday Sara who has been leading in all presidential surveys. While they have continuously assailed the Duterte administration of fraud in and out of the Senate in the hope that this will diminish the winnability of Sara Duterte, the moro-moro has in fact no impact on the popularity of the Presidential daughter. If at all there is a decline in her score in the latest Pulse Asia survey, even the opposition knew that that was on account of her statement that she will not run if her father makes good his plan to run for vice president. Some points migrated to Bongbong Marcos, her perceived running mate, but again that could be regained and maybe even more if she cast her card on the presidency.
The Mayor’s leave could actually be a period of discernment. There is no denying the fact that the pressure on her to run has not relented. The more the number of political characters announced their intentions to seek the presidency the greater the forces that compel her to run. In the end what matters for a strong leader like Sara Duterte is the nation’s call for her to run. So much is at stake and it demands one supreme sacrifice, one important act of patriotism which she alone can respond to. God will guide her in this final hour of discernment.