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Duterte patriarch denies he and 2 sons running for senator

By Jeanne Michael Penaranda

DAVAO CITY/MANILA – As some political pundits consider the Dutertes a threat to the Marcos administration and the nation’s stability if they run and win in the election, former President Rodrigo Duterte denied Vice President Sara Duterte’s revelation that he and his two sons will run for senator in the May 2025 election.

“Maniwala kayo kay Inday? I-jamming ka niyan nang husto… Saan ka nakakita, tatay dalawang anak magtakbo [sa Senado]… Wag kayong kumagat kay Inday kasi ‘yan si Inday kagaya ko rin ‘yan (You believe Inday? She will have her fun with you. Where have you seen a father and his two sons all running for the Senate? Don’t take Inday’s bait because she is just like me.),” Duterte told reporters in Tacloban City.

The former president  said it would be “bizarre” to have him and his two sons in the Senate. “Anong gagawin namin sa Senate…Anong gagawin namin doon?” he said as reported by ABS-CBN and Manila media.

 On June 25, Vice President Duterte “confirmed” that her father and two brothers, Mayor Sebastian Baste Duterte and Rep. Paolo Duterte would be running for senator in 2025, with one of the brothers gunning for the presidency, adding that was what her mother told her.

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Speaker Martin Romualdez who is said to be harboring plans for the presidency said they welcome the candidacy of the Dutertes, saying “we are a free and democratic country.”

Filing of certificates of candidacy to the midterm election will start in October, according to the Commission on Elections, and it will be known only by then if the Dutertes would make true their plans to run.

Meanwhile, less than a year out from the midterm election, former President Duterte was reported to be favored to win a Senate seat and his sons, although still trailing in the polls, have chances to also win with the former president’s backing.

 Polls also show likely Senate re-election for Duterte’s closest allies – Sens. Francis Tolentino, Ronald dela Rosa and Christopher Bong Go.

Jean Encinas-Franco, a University of the Philippines political science professor, described the Dutertes as threat. “It is a message to the Marcoses as it is a message to the Filipino people that ‘we are alive and kicking’,” he added.

Victories in the May midterm elections by the Duterte family, backed by their strong political base, could complicate Marcos’ efforts to pass laws, other experts said.

Some political analysts like Julio Amador said the former president may be motivated to run for “political protection,” citing that Duterte is being investigated by the International Criminal Court (ICC) over his “war on drugs” campaign, where thousands were killed.

Lawyer Harry Roque, a Duterte spokesperson when he was president, dismissed the suggestion, saying the court no longer has jurisdiction over the Philippines since the country withdrew its membership from the ICC.

The former president , meanwhile, clarified that the group Hakbang ng Maisug is not calling for the ouster or resignation of President Marcos, pointing out that every administration has its own mistakes and that Maisug is just there to call out the mistakes of the Marcos administration.

“Marcos should not lose any sleep. I want him to work for six years. He was voted by the people to work for six years. You do your work there. Do not worry, nobody is interested in removing you. It is a waste of time,” Duterte saidin a Phiippine Star report.  “I am praying that he should live till the end of his term.” 

The Hakbang ng Maisug group has been going around the country, holding prayer rallies to protest against the people’s initiative signature campaign for Charter change.And even if he is the face of the group, Duterte denied being behind the movement.

“Maisug is not me, and I am not Maisug. There are other people behind it, businessmen. I cannot say anything, but I hope that whenever there is a rally, it should be peaceful,” Duterte said

On the recent tirades of former senator Leila de Lima, Duterte, as Philippine Star also reported, said “she should be at peace with her life now.”

“Even if she submits herself to crucifixion, whatever she would do now, she still shamed the entire generation after her. They will bear her name but the shame will be there,” Duterte said.

“Find your peace where you are now. Don’t look for trouble, you will only regret it. Why would you get back at me? I don’t do rock and roll,” he added, in apparent reference to a video showing De Lima dancing in a rock concert of a convicted drug lord inside the Bilibid prison.

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