PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte’s eldest son Paolo Duterte has resigned as vice mayor of Davao City, citing “recent unfortunate events” closely tied to his “failed first marriage.”
In an emotional speech during a special session of the city council on Monday, the vice mayor mentioned the “maligning” of his reputation in the P6.4-billion smuggling controversy and his word war with his daughter Isabelle as reasons for his resignation.
“There are recent unfortunate events in my life that are closely tied to my failed first marriage. These, among others, include the maligning of my reputation in the recent name-dropping incident in the Bureau of Customs smuggling case and the very public squabble with my daughter. The other person in this failed relationship is incorrigible and cannot be controlled. And I take responsibility for all that has happened as a result of a wrong decision to marry at a very young age,” he said.
Paolo is married to Lovelie Sangkola, with whom he has three children.
“When I was growing up my parents never failed to remind me of the value of kind-honored principle of delicadeza (sense of propriety), and this is one of those instances of my life that I need to protect my honor and that of my children…I hereby tender my resignation as vice mayor of Davao City effective today December 25, 2017,” he added.
The vice mayor then thanked “all Dabawenyos for supporting him.”
“I look forward to the day that I will be able to serve our country again,” he added.
Paolo Duterte and brother in law Manases Carpio were linked to smuggling at Customs in August, with a Senate investigation uncovering the activities of the so-called “Davao group” that supposedly facilitated the entry of a shipment found to have contained illegal drugs.
Both have denied the allegations. Manases Carpio is the husband of Paolo’s sister, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio.
Paolo and his daughter Isabella engaged in a social media word war last week after the latter’s lavish Palace photo shoot drew public criticism.
Only President can accept resignation
In an interview, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio confirmed that the President knew beforehand that his son would resign his post.
“Yes, the President knew beforehand that the vice mayor will resign,” she told reporters following his brother’s resignation.
Sara, however, declined to comment if the President had accepted Paolo’s resignation.
“That question is best directed to President Duterte. These are things beyond my control. It is not related to my
work where I can do something about it and it is not my life where I can do something about it,” Sara said.
“I can only be here for my brother to support him on whatever decisions may be [made]in this case, so I told him ‘I will help you make that move and assist you in the transition in the office,’” she added.
Though the city council approved Paolo’s resignation, Sara said only the Office of the President could accept it.
“While awaiting the acceptance of his resignation, he is on leave from the office of the vice mayor because only the Office of the President can accept the resignation of the vice mayor,” he said.
Once the resignation has been accepted and deemed effective, Councilor Bernard Al-Ag of the city’s third district will become vice mayor. The staff of the resigned vice mayor will be moved to the mayor’s office.
The city council met on Monday to discuss Sara’s request to release the remaining calamity funds for the year to help victims of disasters.
The vice mayor extended his “deepest sympathies to all the families who lost a loved one, those who lost their jobs and those who were affected by the floods because of [storm]Vinta.”
“It is a difficult Christmas day for many Dabawenyos including myself but we are strong and resilient and we shall move forward,” he said.
WITH KAROL JOSEF LUCENA AND ARIC JOHN SY CUA