Pimentel urges Sara Duterte to run for senator

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 16) — Senator Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III is urging Davao City Mayor and presidential daughter Sara Duterte-Carpio to run for the Senate in the 2019 polls.

In a statement Thursday, Pimentel called on Duterte-Carpio to seek to represent the Mindanao region citing the difficulties in shifting to a federal form of government.

"Her experience as mayor of one of the country's highly successful cities eminently qualifies her to speak for Mindanao, for peace and order, for the environment, and for the socio-economic upliftment of the marginalized sectors," Pimentel said.

"Federalism is an uphill climb," the president of the ruling PDP-Laban party added.

The shift to federalism was among President Rodrigo Duterte's campaign promises, saying it would pave the way for more equitable distribution of wealth and political power and bring peace in Mindanao.

While the members of the House of Representatives have expressed support for a constitutional change that would allow for a shift to a federal government, some senators said charter change is "good as dead" at the Senate.

The country's economic managers, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez and Economic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia also previously said the Philippines was not economically ready for the shift.

Meanwhile, President Duterte has said his daughter is not interested in any national government post, while Duterte-Carpio herself has yet to announce her official plans.

A Pulse Asia survey in April showed that the presidential daughter would be among the top six senators if the 2019 midterm polls were held the day the survey was conducted.