Presidential son Paolo bids for Davao City’s first district
Accompanied by his sister, Mayor Sara Duterte, and brother-in-law Manases Carpi, Presidential son and former vice mayor Paolo Duterte filed his Certificate of Candidacy (COC) for the first congressional on Friday.
The first district has been held by the Nograles family except in 1998-2001 when President Rodrigo Duterte, who had just ended his three terms as mayor, held the first district for a single term.
In an interview with reporters, Paolo said the decision to run for Congress has the blessing of his family. He added that he has not talked to his father about the decision, but that the President was aware of his plans.
“This has been agreed upon by members of the family,” he said.
In the press conference following his arrival from Bali, Indonesia on Friday, President Duterte said he has not talked to Paolo because of his tight schedules.
Even if he comes home on weekends, the President said he had no chance to talk to Paolo because his son has also his own family.
“I don’t know. Frankly, I have not talked to my son for the longest time. Well, he has his own family. Maybe he finds a few opportunities for me to talk to him,” the elder Duterte said.
The decision to run for Congress ended weeks of speculation that Paolo would run for Congress. He was also rumored earlier to run for the third congressional district.
Koko Nogales was rumored to aspire for the first congressional district because his brother Karlo is on his last term. Karlo already dropped his bid for the Senate and committed to helping the administration of President Duterte.
On Thursday, Paolo gave a hint when he released a statement saying good luck to Jericho “Koko” Nograles and the PBA Party-list that he represents. But Koko is not clashing heads with the presidential son: On Thursday, Koko filed his COC in Manila as a reelectionist under the PBA banner.
“I hope he will continue serving the Filipino people through his party-list,” Paolo said.
Whatever Koko’s decision may be, Paolo said he does not mind having an opponent.
“We are in a democracy so it’s really okay for me if anyone wishes to challenge my bid. Let us campaign and allow the people choose the person whom they think could serve them best,” he said.
Paolo also brushed aside speculations his wife, January, is eyeing the vice mayorship, saying the latter will continue her role as the barangay chairperson of Catalunan Grande, and will focus on their family.
Paolo served as the Liga ng mga Barangay President from 2008 to 2013 before he was elected vice mayor from 2013 to 2017. Paolo resigned as vice mayor in 2017 following accusations on the alleged PHP6.4 billion shabu smuggling and his public spat with daughter Isabelle. (Lilian C Mellejor and Funny Pearl A Gajunera/PNA)