President Rodrigo Duterte is not aiming to cling to power when he said he is eyeing his daughter Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte to be his successor, a Palace official said Monday.
Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said the President is just being “pragmatic” and was just ensuring that the gains of his administration would be preserved.
“You’re making a breathtaking leap by assuming that he wants power when he says that his daughter is somebody that he trusts,” Abella said in a news conference.
“It’s not a question of wanting to perpetuate power but ensuring that whatever gains he has — whatever gains that we have made, the administration may have made will be preserved by someone that he actually trusts,” Abella added.
Earlier, Duterte said he wants Sara to succeed him in 2022, saying he couldn’t find any other better candidate than her.
“I couldn’t find any other better candidate than Sara to become the next president,” Duterte said.
However, Abella clarified that the President’s preference for his daughter was primarily because of his trust and confidence in the mayor’s capability.
“Nakita niya ‘yung capacity, capability, puso, intention nung — ni Sara Duterte,” Abella said.
Abella added Sara should be seen as “an independent personality” and not just the President’s daughter.
“She is an effective person and mayor and politician who happens to be his daughter so it’s not a question of wanting to perpetuate power. So you know, I think there’s a huge difference between the two,” he also said.