Group pushing for Sara Duterte’s presidential bid believes she will be better than her father

Supporters of Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte believe she is not only fit to become the country’s next chief executive, but will also be a better leader than her father, President Rodrigo Duterte.

“Talagang may sariling pag-iisip po sya, number one. Number two po, naniniwala po kami sa kanyang strong will and also we believe she is a refined version of her father,” said Anthony del Rosario, vice-chairman of the Hugpong Para kay Sara (HPS), a citizen movement launched on Monday to convince the presidential daughter to reconsider her plans.

[Translation: One, she really has her own mind. Number two, we believe in her strong will and we believe she is a refined version of her father.]

Del Rosario is a former governor of Davao del Norte and and also secretary-general of Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP), the mayor’s regional political party.

Sara said on Sept. 9, she is not running for president in the 2022 elections after her father officially declared he is gunning for the vice-presidency.

“Gusto po natin na si Mayor Sara talaga ang tumakbo bilang presidente,” Del Rosario said, hoping that they could muster enough public support to change not only her mind, but even that of her father’s.

“Through this organization (HPS), through the members, we hope we will be able to convince the President to reconsider his plans for 2022,” he added.

During its launch held in Makati City’s Frabelle Corporate Plaza, the group also virtually swore in what is said were “about 10,000 officers, members — and still growing” of the HPS chapters nationwide and overseas.

‘Version 2.0’

Other HPS convenors supported Del Rosario’s stance on why Sara will be “version 2.0,” when asked to be compared to President Duterte.

“Despite all (of President Duterte’s) efforts na pagandahin ang bayan natin, may mga pagkukulang pa rin, kaya po ito ang pagpupunan natin. At kung anong mali ang nakikita natin, itutuwid po natin yun,” HPS president Allan Yap said.

[Translation: Despite all efforts to improve the country, there are lapses and this is what we need to fill. And whatever wrong things we see, we will correct that.]

“And her being independent-minded, she will be able to correct kung ano pa yung mga kulang sa administrasyon na ‘to [whatever this administration lacks],” Yap added, “She represents both ‘yung sentiments ng administration and the opposition.”

Deputy House Speaker and party-list representative Bernadette Herrera said their group believes in the “continuity” of the Duterte leadership since “six years will never be enough.”

“Hindi naman perpekto lahat ng gobyerno. May mga weakness din siempre na nangyari sa panahon ni (President Duterte) and naniniwala kami that she (Sara) can improve this further, when she becomes the president of our country,” Herrera said.

[Translation: No government is perfect. There are weaknesses that happened and we believe that she can improve this further, when she becomes the president of our country.]

Mayor Duterte has yet to issue an official statement in response to her supporters’ call but on her Facebook page, she commented, “Maraming salamat sa inyong pagtitiwala. Kasama ninyo ako sa pagmamahal sa ating Pilipinas,” while re-posting the link of the livestream of the HPS event.

[Translation: Thank you very much for your support. I am with you in our love for the Philippines.]

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