Sara Duterte locks horns with senator over 2022 run
If Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte runs for President in 2022, this would be to keep her father, President Rodrigo Duterte out of jail, Senator Antonio Trillanes IV said Wednesday.
His statement drew an immediate reaction from the mayor, who told Trillanes not to think of her, speak her name, or issue “even a whisper of Inday Sara” from his “ugly lips.”
In a press briefing, Trillanes dismissed claims by the President’s daughter that he would run for president in 2022.
“I will not be a problem because her rivals, in case she decided to run for President, are their allies—the people around them,” Trillanes said.
He said the Davao mayor’s possible rivals would include Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano, former senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr., and Senators Manny Pacquiao and Richard Gordon.
Trillanes said Duterte could declare martial law or a revolutionary government to protect himself.
“He has repeatedly said this even during the campaign and during the last months. That is why, he has been looking for justificarion for a nationwide martial law to control the entire country,” Trillanes said.
With the country under martial law, the President can easily get rid of his critics without having to create a script, Trillanes said.
He said the President’s second option is Charter change and federalism, “although he has no knowledge about federalism.” His only goal here is to protetr his interest under a transitory government and remain in power, he added.
If the first and second options will not push through, Trillanes said the President’s last option is to field his daughter as a presidential candidate, but she must run first for senator in 2019.
Trillanes said his scenarios were based on “profiling and analyzing” the President.
He said he expected the President and his daughter to deny his predictions, but he said this is no longer surprising.
Detained Senator Leila de Lima, meanwhile, said the President was fully capable of fulfilling his death threat against Trillanes.
“The only question is if he will be stupid enough to do it,” she said.
Duterte said last week Trillanes might just get shot for his “arrogance” and “tough” talk.
De Lima said this is what happens when the leader of a criminal syndicate and political warlord of one of the country’s most violent places becomes president.
“Death threats coming from the Davao Mafia boss are common everyday occurrences that no longer remain in the headlines for more than a day,” she said.
The public, the detained senator said, has already been desensitized to numerous death threats issued by Duterte that this one is nothing new.
She described Duterte a violent anti-social narcissistic personality. As mayor of Davao, she said the President recognized no authority higher than himself.
“As President of the Philippines, he believes he is now God. This is why he challenges the Catholic Church to pit the God of Christians against himself as the God of the Iglesia ni Rodrigo.”
She said thin line separates Duterte’s threats from becoming reality, and that is the level of cunning he is capable of on a given day.
“So far he has not yet been stupid enough. Crazy, yes, as he has already ordered the killing of thousands. But someday he might be stupid enough not to be able to recognize the difference between the assassination of a local radio commentator and an opposition senator,” she said.
In a Facebook post, Mayor Duterte addressed Trillanes.
“Leave me alone, Senator Trillanes. The last time a person irked me, I made sure to make it difficult for him to bring me down,” she said, citing the losing mayoral bid of erstwhile political rival, former Speaker Prospero Nograles, in 2010.
“Leave me in peace in Davao City or else you and your friends will spend more than a billion in the 2022 presidential elections just to make me insignificant. Let me repeat, do not bother me and my slot will be available for a yellow senator for the 2019 elections,” she said.
“President Duterte imagines you will be shot, on the other hand, I will make sure you are alive and in pain,” Sara Duterte added, referring to her father’s statement last week that Trillanes might just see himself shot someday due to his “arrogance” and “tough” behavior.