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.