DAVAO CITY – Netizens are abuzz if Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte is indeed retiring once his term ends next year, after his daughter, former mayor Inday Sara Duterte posted a photo on her social media account Tuesday night having her head shaved with captions that hinted the mayor could be running in the national elections.
The post on Inday Sara’s Instagram Account reads “nagpaupaw na lang ko samtang naghulat #Duterte2016 #kalboparasapagbabago #nohairwecare (I just had my head shaved while waiting).”
She added “bisan walay kwarta, bisan way makinarya, bisan mapildi #justDUit (even if there’s no money, even if there’s no machinery, even if (we) lose #justDUit ).”
The photo has 8,489 likes as of 8:14 pm.
News reports also quoted her as challenging those who support her father to shave their heads.
Davao netizens started posting photos of themselves with their heads shaved.
Former North Cotabato Manny Piñol, and Mayor Duterte’s spokesperson Peter Laviña also appeared in a photo with their heads shaved along with other Duterte supporters. Other local officials who shaved their heads were Public Safety and Security Command Center head Frank Villaroman, Duterte’s aide Francis Go.
City councilors Danilo Dayanghirang, Al Ryan Alejandre, Bernard Al-ag and Karlo Bello also shaved their heads.
Dayanghirang said that he had his head shaved “as a demonstration that we want change.”
“Whatever his decision is, will be okay to us, because this is not a matter of personality. This is a matter of issues like federal system, that Mindanao has been neglected,” he said.
“I hope this will increase the awareness of people nga mopili na gyud kung unsay para sa tawo (I hope this will increase the awareness of people to choose for the people),” he said.
Alejandre said it is hard for him to cut his hair short, but he wants to “show support for Mayor Rody.”
He said they hope to encourage the mayor to run as president.
“Usahay desperado na pud ka, himoon nimo tanan para makumbinsi ang tao (sometimes when you’re desperate you will do anything just to convince the person),” he said.
On Monday afternoon, Duterte appeared at a press conference to announce that he will retire at the end of his term if his daughter Inday Sara agrees to run for Mayor or seek re-election if she does not.
On Thursday afternoon, a coalition of volunteer advocates and sectoral groups will hold a mobilization which aims to “display affection and appreciation for the leadership of Mayor (Duterte) through prayer, music, and dance” at the Rizal Park.
“Calling on all DIGONG DUTERTE SUPPORTERS to come join us in a celebration of thanks for MAYOR RODY for 3 decades of exemplary service to Davao and the Davaoeños and to manifest our wholehearted support for all his endeavors. Digong, Daghang Salamat!,” said the message that is sent around Facebook.
In his latest Facebook post, Piñol confirmed that “there were frantic efforts by people close to the family to save the Presidential dream.”
“And the efforts appear to be paying off,” he said.
“The only issue that is going to be addressed now would be the question raised by Mayor Duterte himself when we were almost at the verge of convincing him to backtrack from his earlier pronouncements rejecting the Presidency and announcement that he was heeding the people’s call,” said Piñol.
“How would people react if, after saying twice (thrice including Monday’s press conference) that I would not run for President, I suddenly face the people and say Ok, I’m running?,” Duterte was quoted by Piñol as saying.
He said he assured Duterte that “the only people who would not like to see you backtrack from your earlier pronouncements would be the people who don’t like you to become President.”
“I told him that there would be a greater number of Filipinos who would prefer that he changes his mind and declares that he was yielding to the call of the people,” he said.
He said he does not want “to raise false hopes” but added that “maybe, this is the sign of a Divine Intervention.” (With a report from Ace R. Morandante/davaotoday.com)