VP’s spokesman asks: Is Inday Sara’s outburst sign she’ll run for president in 2022?

VP's spokesman asks: Is Inday Sara’s outburst sign she’ll run for president in 2022?

FILE PHOTO: Office of the Vice President spokesperson Atty. Barry Gutierrez. INQUIRER.net file photo / Noy Morcoso

MANILA, Philippines — The spokesperson of Vice President Leni Robredo thinks Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio’s combative reaction about observations on the rising COVID-19 cases in her city could be indicative of her supposed plans to run for president in the 2022 elections.

Lawyer Barry Gutierrez reiterated on Tuesday that the first political statement regarding Robredo’s observations came from Duterte-Carpio, who said there is a proper time to attack her performance as Davao City mayor should Robredo run for president.

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It seems, according to Gutierrez, that Duterte-Carpio is giving off a “let’s meet in the elections” challenge to Robredo, just because the Vice President expressed her observations on the surge of COVID-19 infections in Davao City.

“Why so defensive, why immediately jump to, ‘let’s meet in the elections’? Besides, Mayor Duterte has been saying she’s not running. Why all of a sudden she’s saying that ‘we should meet in the elections’?” Gutierrez remarked during an interview with ABS-CBN News Channel’s Dateline.

“Is that an indirect way of saying that after all her protestations, she, in fact, is vying for a run for president in 2022? After all, there are, you know, Run Sara Run posters all over the place,” he added.

Duterte-Carpio took offense at Robredo’s advice last Sunday, that the Davao City government could take a look at how other local government units (LGUs) responded to their respective battles against the pandemic.

According to President Rodrigo Duterte’s daughter, Robredo should “avoid involving the COVID-19 surge in Davao City in her attempt at politicking,” adding that “there will be a proper time” to attack her performance “if she dares to run for president.”

READ: Inday Sara to VP Leni: Keep off Davao City’s COVID-19 situation

But Gutierrez insisted that Robredo’s observations were not an attack against Duterte-Carpio, as the Vice President has always been in coordination with various local governments about finding ways and providing resources to address the pandemic since it hit the Philippines last year.

“Well, to be very clear, there was no attack on Mayor Duterte. It was a simple observation. The cases in Davao are rising and that’s a verifiable fact, and all she said was maybe they can take some lessons from the way that Cebu City handled its own surge,” Gutierrez said.

“So, I don’t see what the problem is,” he added.

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READ: Robredo camp: No politics about citing facts on Davao City’s rising COVID-19 cases

Data from analytics group OCTA Research last June 8 indicated that Davao City has already surpassed Quezon City in terms of the average number of new COVID-19 cases for the past seven days.

Based on OCTA’s report, Davao City recorded 213 average new cases from June 1 to 7 —  44 percent higher than the 147 average new cases during the preceding week.

Duterte-Carpio and Robredo are both rumored to be gunning for the presidential seat come 2022, with the former being seen as the standard-bearer of the administration while Robredo is being considered as the opposition’s bet.

Neither of the two has confirmed the rumors so far.

KGA

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TAGS: 2019 Novel Coronavirus, 2019-nCoV, Barry Gutierrez, COVID-19, COVID-19 pandemic, GCQ, general community quarantine, lockdown, nCoV update, Office of the Vice President, OVP, Philippine news updates, Sara Duterte-Carpio, Vice President Leni Robredo
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