By The EDGE DAVAO EDITORIAL TEAM
Two of them are barely into 40s and one is 32. And yes, they’re not politicians in the traditional sense.
By traditional, we mean the kind of old men who command respect with grey hair and even greyer prospects for the future of their constituents.
Instead, we have leaders in easy street clothes, boy-next-door looks and always ready for action. They are scions of President Rodrigo Duterte whose unorthodox leadership style is sweeping across the country a new brand of politics that has caused a changing political landscape. Monday’s elections have brought to fore that new mindset among the electorate but most significantly for Davao City, it has given way to a next generation of leaders.
Rugged surfer looks and all, Vice-Mayor-elect Sebastian “Baste” Duterte, 32, joins siblings Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, 40, and Congressman-elect Paolo “Pulong” Duterte, 44, in the young Duterte triad.
The three won handily in Monday’s polls.
Sara won a landslide win in her reelection bid with 580,440 votes against the 4,270 of Jun Marcellones. Baste ran unopposed for vice mayor and got 558,128 votes while Pulong won in the first district with 197,370 votes.
After he was proclaimed, Pulong went to social media to post his gratitude for the overwhelming mandate. “Sa mga katawhan sa unang distrito sa Davao, dako akong pasalamat sa inyong pagpili kanako isip inyong representante sa Kongreso. I am truly humbled and at the same time honored for your trust and support in me. Dako sab akong pasalamat sa mga volunteers, sa akong mga higala, ug sa akong pamilya sa ilang dedikasyon ug kakugi aron iduso ang atong tinguha nga makatabang kita sa kalambuan sa unang distrito sa atong mahal nga siyudad.”
“Makalaom kamo nga ako dili lamang inyong tingog ug kusog sa Kongreso kundili kaabaga usab ni President Rody Duterte aron makab-ot niini ang iyang mga plano ug pangandoy para sa nasud.”
Mayor Sara, who was the torchbearer for the Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP) nationwide, was more emotional.
In a social media post, she admitted she sobbed after Davao City delivered a 12-0 victory for the HNP line-up, a first in the history of Davao politics.
“I am humbled as I bow. I am not a person who cries easily but when it was definite that Davao City delivered a 12-0 vote for Senators of HNP, the tears flowed and the sobbing followed,” the presidential daughter told her 389,000 Instagram followers. She also quoted a biblical verse: “Unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required.”
“Salamat sa inyo. I promise to work harder until I break. I love you all,” Mayor Sara said.
Baste, who was seen casting his vote wearing shorts and thongs, posted a sleek and simple: “Daghang salamat sa tanan. VM” on social media.
The rousing win by the Duterte siblings was seen in positive light by a business sector representative in John Tria.
“If you have a supportive local administration, it becomes a very credible promoter of business in the city and in the region,” Tria told Edge Davao in an interview on Wednesday.
He said that with the addition of Baste, the youngest Duterte “will further aid in enforcing the impression of investors that the city and the region is credible.”
From a business standpoint, Tria noted three selling points.
First, he said: “The siblings are from Davao, they are locals. So when they talk about Davao, it’s the truth hence validating their stories to be credible.”
Second: “With them elected, we can expect a lot of infrastructures to be prepared to benefit businesses. Connectivity is one — making businesses easier and straightforward. Also, volume of business is expected to go up,” he said.
Third: “If Davao residents are given a mandate and is followed, investors will also follow. Thus opening opportunities for businesses and business community,” Tria added.