MANILA – (UPDATE, 2:45 PM) The President’s eldest son Paolo Duterte shocked the Davao City Council by announcing on Christmas Day his resignation as vice mayor, two days after a fire killed 37 people at a mall in the city, and as Mindanaoans reeled from the impact of back-to-back storms.
In a statement he read as he presided at a special session of the city council – meant to discuss a request by his sister Sara Duterte-Carpio, the city mayor, to release the rest of 2017’s disaster funds to help those urgently affected by the storms – the vice mayor cited “delicadeza” as instilled by his parents when he was growing up.
He said “recent unfortunate events in my life closely tied to my failed first marriage” kept on haunting him and he needed time to deal with them. He had a “very public squabble” with his 18-year old daughter from that first marriage, Isabella, just days before Christmas.
Vice Mayor Duterte began his address to the council by extending “deepest sympathies to all the families who lost a loved one, those who lost their job, and those who were affected by the floods because of typhoon Vinta.”
Like his father and sister who visited the scene of the mall fire on Christmas Eve to comfort families of the 37 people then missing and believed trapped on the fourth floor, Duterte had been obviously affected by the tragedy.
“When I was growing up, my parents never failed to extend the value of the time-honored principles of delicadeza and this is one of those instances in my life that I need to protect my honor and that of my children.”
Before his social media-quarrel with Isabelle, Duterte had drawn flak after pre-debut photos of Isabelle, in flaming red gown, showed her within Malacañang’s ballroom, with the presidential seal in background.
Besides the tiff with Isabelle, he also alluded to the “maligning of my reputation in the recent name-dropping at the Bureau of Customs smuggling case.” It was a reference to Sen. Antonio Trillanes’s allegations that he was a key figure in a so-called “Davao Group” of wheeler-dealers at Customs. The issue arose as the Senate investigated the P6.5-billion smuggling of shabu from China through Customs’ green lane.
Trillanes had claimed, but could not prove, that the younger Duterte was a Triad member and had a tattoo on his back indicating such.
Farewell on FB
On his Facebook page, Duterte had a message in Visayan for Davao residents and his supporters:
“Sa tanan nisuporta ka nako, hilabi na gyud sa inyo mga Dabawenyo na naghatag ug pagsalig ka nako,
DAGHANG SALAMAT KANINYONG TANAN ug MAAYONG PASKO KANINYO!
(this page will be deleted this 3:00pm..)”
Translation of post:
To all who supported me, especially you Davaoenos who gave me your trust,
THANK YOU ALL VERY MUCH and MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU!