VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Roque contradicts Dutertes on Sara’s ‘presidential bid’

Palace Spokesperson Harry Roque revealed that President Rodrigo Duterte had “consistently” supported the potential presidential bid of his daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, for the 2022 national elections, contradicting the public pronouncements of the two.

STATEMENT

During his June 29 press briefing, Roque commented on the rift between Duterte and Sen. Manny Pacquiao, who was among those earlier mentioned as a potential candidate of the ruling party in next year’s presidential elections. Pacquiao is acting president of Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) and Duterte is chairman.

Roque said he “[doesn’t] think” the falling out between Duterte and Pacquiao was “expected,” as he recalled:

“...ako mismo ang nagbalita sa taumbayan na noong minsan na nilapitan ako ni presidente na, ‘Spox, kailangan alam mo ito, ‘no. Ang gusto kong tumakbo talaga si Inday Sara pero ayaw talaga. So kinakailangan mamili tayo who has the numbers between (sic) sa tatlo, ‘no, na ang unang-una sinabi niya ay si Sen. Manny Pacquiao; pangalawa, Isko Moreno; pangatlo, former senator Bongbong Marcos.”

(I myself relayed the news to the public that the president once approached me [and said], ‘Spox, you need to know this. I really wanted Inday Sara to run but she really does not want to. So we need to choose who has numbers between the three.’ The first one he mentioned was Sen. Manny Pacquiao, second was Isko Moreno, and third, former senator Bongbong Marcos.)

Source: People’s Television (PTV), WATCH: Press briefing with Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque | June 29, 2021, June 29, 2021, watch from 32:05 to 32:44 (transcript)

Duterte has not denied his spokesperson’s latest claim on the matter.

FACT

Contrary to what Roque said, Duterte explicitly stated in at least two recent speeches that he had dissuaded his daughter from seeking the presidency in 2022.

Duterte-Carpio herself belied Roque’s claim, saying Duterte “has never told [her] to run” and that “it is quite the opposite,” as reported by several news organizations. She added:

“My parents and I have talked about politics twice in the past month and they have been consistent in expressing their opinion for me not to run for a national post.”

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Interviewed on June 8 by Apollo Quiboloy, a Davao City-based religious leader, the president said he told his daughter “not to make the mistake of running for the presidency.”

Si Inday (Duterte-Carpio), kinausap ko talaga kagabi (I talked to her last night): ‘Do not run. Do not ever, ever commit the mistake of running for presidency’ … I do not mean to insult the Filipino people. Presidente, wala ka talagang makuha (you can’t get anything. Wala, wala para sa iyo (nothing, for you) except for one thing: iyong (the) sense of fulfillment mo sa kapwa tao mo (with your fellows).”

Source: SMNI, SMNI EXCLUSIVE: Pastor Apollo's one-on-one exclusive interview with President Rodrigo Duterte, June 8, 2021, watch from 1:23:41 to 1:24:31 (transcript)

In a Jan. 14 speech, Duterte said he had advised his daughter against vying for the position because, he said, the presidency was “not a woman’s job.”

“My daughter is not running. I have told Inday not to run kasi naaawa ako sa dadaanan niya na dinaanan ko. Hindi ito pambabae. Alam mo, the emotional setup of a woman and a man is totally different. Maging gago ka dito. So iyon ang — that is the sad story.

(My daughter is not running. I have told Inday not to run because I pity that she will go through the [same ordeal] that I have. This is not for women. You know, the emotional setup of a woman and a man is totally different. You’ll become stupid here. So, that is the sad story.)

Source: RTVMalacanang, Inauguration of the Metro Manila Skyway Stage 3 Project (Speech) 1/14/2021, Jan. 14, 2021, watch from 10:39 to 11:12 (transcript)

In his June 29 press briefing, however, Roque claimed that his conversation with Duterte on wanting Duterte-Carpio to run happened prior to these pronouncements. Asked if Duterte had changed his mind about supporting his daughter’s probable candidacy, the spokesperson claimed:

“Consistent naman [si presidente] eh. Sinabi niya talaga na ‘ang gusto talaga nating tumakbo [ay] si Mayor Sara pero ayaw ni Mayor Sara’ (The president has been consistent. He really said that it was Mayor Sara that he really wanted to run but she doesn’t want to).”

But in speeches earlier in his term, the president had expressed he was against Duterte-Carpio’s candidacy for president. In April 2019, Duterte said he told his daughter that she would only be looking for a headache if she runs for the position and wins. In July the following year, he said he told her, “do not be president … unless you see something na kaya mo para gawain mo [para] sa bayan (that you can do for the country).”

Roque’s June 29 claim also ran contrary to what he said in a media forum on June 3, that Duterte’s “recommendation” to his daughter was for her “not to run.” He said that was “the latest [he has] heard from the president’s own mouth.” However, the spokesperson added that Duterte-Carpio was “include[d]” in the “many [candidate] options” the president was considering.

In a June 9 interview on television, Roque declared that he would run for a national position if Duterte-Carpio seeks the presidency.

In January, the president’s daughter told her supporters, who mobilized a “Run, Sara, Run for President for 2022” movement, to “please allow [her] to run for president [in] 2034, if, at that time, there is something [she] can do to help the country.”

On June 16, Duterte-Carpio said she was “rethinkingher earlier decision not to run for president in next year’s elections. (See VERA FILES FACT CHECK: NO announcement of a Bongbong-Sara tandem in 2022 polls)


Sources

ABS-CBN News, PDP-Laban rift widens as Duterte, Pacquiao rumble, June 29, 2021

Rappler.com, Battle lines drawn: Duterte threatens to knock out Pacquiao, June 29, 2021

Philstar.com, Duterte calls out Pacquiao for comments on corruption, June 29, 2021

People’s Television (PTV), WATCH: Press briefing with Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque | June 3, 2021, June 3, 2021

People’s Television (PTV), WATCH: Press briefing with Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque | June 29, 2021, June 29, 2021 transcript)

ABS-CBN News, ‘Everything will destroy me’: Sara Duterte says parents don’t want her to run for president, June 29, 2021

Daily Tribune, Sara contradicts Roque: ‘PRRD never told me to run’, June 29, 2021

GMA News Online, Duterte must be telling Roque another thing, says daughter Sara June 29, 2021

SMNI, SMNI EXCLUSIVE: Pastor Apollo's one-on-one exclusive interview with President Rodrigo Duterte, June 8, 2021 (transcript)

RTVMalacanang, Inauguration of the Metro Manila Skyway Stage 3 Project (Speech) 1/14/2021, Jan. 14, 2021 (transcript)

RTVMalacanang, SPEECH OF PRESIDENT RODRIGO ROA DUTERTE DURING THE PARTIDO DEMOKRATIKO PILIPINO – LAKAS NG BAYAN (PDPLABAN) BATANGAS CAMPAIGN RALLY, April 17, 2019 (transcript)

RTVMalacanang, Speech of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte during the Talk to the Troops in Jolo, Sulu – Presidential Communications Operations Office, July 13, 2020 (transcript)

Inquirer.net, Roque: I will only run in 2022 if Sara Duterte will run for president, June 9, 2021

Manila Bulletin,

Roque will run in 2022 polls only if Sara seeks presidency, June 9, 2021

Philippine News Agency, Roque supports 'Run, Sara, Run' movement, June 10, 2021

ABS-CBN News, Sara Duterte to political supporters: Wait for 2034, Jan. 30, 2021

CNN Philippines, Sara Duterte says she could run for president...in 2034, Jan. 31, 2021

Manila Standard, Sara's teaser: I will run in 2034, Feb. 1, 2021

ABS-CBN News, Sara Duterte rules out running with father in Halalan 2022 | ANC, June 16, 2021

Philstar.com, Sara pinag-iisipan ang pagtakbong Pangulo sa 2022 | Pilipino Star Ngayon, June 17, 2021

News 5, News5 - FROM NO TO MAYBE? Sa isang panayam, inamin ni..., June 116, 2021


(Guided by the code of principles of the International Fact-Checking Network at Poynter, VERA Files tracks the false claims, flip-flops, misleading statements of public officials and figures, and debunks them with factual evidence. Find out more about this initiative and our methodology.)

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