Sara Duterte: Like father, like daughter
Share this on

Sara Duterte: Like father, like daughter


Photo of Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte last year

The world wide web finally got to witness the famous temper of the Dutertes of Davao City.

Seen on a video clip played over and over again Friday was Mayor Sara Duterte collaring a court sheriff then unleashing at least four punches, two of them landing on the face.

Before noon, the mayor was on breaking news in all major television networks.  By the afternoon, she was the toast ofsocial media.

A chip off the block, as veteran Davao City news editor Antonio Ajero described the young mayor, Sara was on the first day of her second year as the first lady mayor of the country’s largest city in terms of land area when the incident happened.

She is the eldest daughter of former Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, now her vice mayor.

Like her father, Sara is a lawyer.  And like her father, she can be very passionate as well as temperamental.  Her grandfather was an appointed governor of the undivided Davao after leaving Cebu City due to political differences with the then powerful Duranos as Sara’s father once narrated.

For the Dutertes, sometimes there is no middle ground but they certainly cannot be accused of not having the genuine heart for the poor – a trait that has endeared both of them to the militants and majority of residents in the city.

Without its proper context, the punching scene should raise a furore.  But because of her being a Duterte, not a few are coming to her rescue.  Not least of them is the leftist Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (National Patriotic Alliance) who lauded her “guts and willpower to stand for the interest… of the vast majority of the people.”

Sara told members of the media after the punching incident that the court sheriff ignored her plea to hold for two hours and wait for her before implementing a court order to demolish houses inside a property owned by a local businessman.

It was a reasonable request as the mayor was later informed that violence had already erupted between the demolition crew and defiant residents before she arrived.

A niece of the judge who issued the demolition order, Sara knew her actions will have far-ranging ramifications both to her professional and political careers.

But like her father, she is standing by her actions and said she is ready to face the consequences of her acts.

Very few local officials will risk their political career, and in Sara’s case her professional future, to deliver a message that leadership is a matter of political will and if it meant publicly displaying displeasure for being ignored over a request that could mean life and death to some, so be it.

That is not to say she is justified in throwing Pacquiao-like rapid straights at the hapless sheriff.

But what the heck, a public official sometimes is entitled to it.  At last she did it for her own reasons and it looks like more than half of her constituents seem to now agree.

Topics covered: