HONG KONG - Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio is creating “unnecessary political noise” to “make herself relevant” ahead of the 2022 presidential elections where she is expected to contend, Otso Diretso candidates said Friday.
Duterte-Carpio has been going around the country as she heads the campaign of her regional slate Hugpong ng Pagbabago.
President Rodrigo Duterte’s daughter has also been answering issues on behalf of her endorsed candidates and daring opposition bets to debate with her instead of her slate, leaving HNP’s 13 senatorial bets mum on contentious policies.
“She’s basically making a stance, almost regularly. It’s her time to show that she’s of national caliber,” Otso Diretso candidate Samira Gutoc told ABS-CBN News.
“Nagre-ready siya. (She's getting ready.) She’s making herself relevant for the future,” she said.
“Maaring isa ‘yan sa mga propaganda niya para makilala sa 2022 presidential election,” election lawyer Romulo Macalintal said.
(It may be part of her propaganda to raise her profile for the 2022 presidential election.)
“She is taking advantage of the situation. Mapapansin mo naman sa mga tarpaulin at mga karatula ng mga Hugpong candidates ang laki-laki din ng picture niya (You can see in the tarpaulins and posters of Hugpong candidates how large her picture is),” he said.
The Davao City mayor has treated the 2019 midterm campaign as her “coming out party,” Former Solicitor General Florin Hilbay said.
“To some extent this is her coming out party which is to assume the role of anointed leader for 2022 elections,” he said.
“It’s an unnecessary political noise. It’s meant to distract people away from what we want to do which is focus on issue-based campaign,” he said.
Duterte-Carpio’s political tactic is “backfiring,” other Otso Diretso candidates said.
“Para silang mga bata na kailangan alagaan every now and then,” said Macalintal.
(They are like children that need to be chaperoned every now and then.)
“It exposes ‘yung mga kahinaan ng mga kandidato nila sa issue at it also exposes Inday Sara dahil hindi pinag-uusapan ‘yung mga issue na dapat pag-usapan,” former House Deputy Speaker Erin Tañada said.
“Panay personalities lang ang tinitira niya. Hindi pinag-uusapan ang pagtaas ng presyo ng mga bilihin. Ang tinitira niya kaming mga kandidato pero hindi issues,” he said.
(She attacks personalities. Inflation isn't discussed. She hits candidates like us but not issues.)
Duterte-Carpio recently described Vice President Leni Robredo as a “fake VP” with “fake courage.”
The Davao City mayor made the comment after she was criticized for saying that “honesty should not be an election issue.”