Duterte’s children to join him on Inauguration Day

Duterte’s children to join him on Inauguration Day
Paolo, Sara, Baste, and Kitty are set to stand around their father as he signs the Palace guest book on June 30, Inauguration Day

MANILA, Philippines – When Rodrigo Duterte steps into Malacañang Palace on Inauguration Day, each of his children will have a special place with him.

Duterte’s 4 children will stand in designated spots around him while he sits on a table to sign the presidential guestbook of outgoing President Benigno Aquino III.

On one side of Duterte will stand Paolo and Kitty Duterte. Sara and Sebastian or “Baste” Duterte will stand on his other side.

Paolo, Sara, and Baste are Duterte’s 3 grown children with former wife Elizabeth Zimmerman. Kitty is his daughter with common-law wife Honeylet Avanceña.

Each of them played their own roles in Duterte’s presidential bid.

As the country waited for Duterte to make up his mind about running, Duterte’s 3 older children had their heads shaved to show their support for him no matter what his decision would be.

THEIR FATHER'S CHILDREN. (From left) Former Mayor Sara Duterte Carpio, current Vice Mayor Paolo, and Sebastian shave their their heads October 27 in support of whatever decision their father, Davao Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, would make about seeking the presidency in 2016. File photo by Editha Caduaya/Rappler

The 41-year-old Paolo, Duterte’s eldest, is now Davao City vice mayor. He was rarely seen on the campaign trail with his father but showed his support by attending events like the presidential debates and through posts on social media.

Sara, at 38 years old, is taking the place of her dad as Davao City mayor, a position she had already assumed from 2010 to 2013. Sara agreeing to take on this role for a second time allowed Duterte to cancel his candidacy for mayor and file his candidacy for president.

Sara took the stage in several of Duterte’s campaign rallies, including the gigantic rally in Iloilo. She and her mother Elizabeth went on a nationwide bus tour, “Byaheng Du30”, to convince non-believers to vote for Duterte.

Baste, known as the “quiet” one among the siblings, also heeded the call of the campaign trail. He even went to Hong Kong as a substitute campaigner for his dad, alongside actor Robin Padilla.

He frequently spoke at student events to promote to the youth his father’s presidential bid.

Last but not the least is Kitty Duterte, the president-elect’s 12-year-old daughter with common-law wife Honeylet Avanceña.

Among the 4 of them, Kitty was the one most frequently spotted on the campaign trail. She would be beside her dad on the motorcade, throwing ballers and rolled up “Dutertees” to supporters.

FATHER, DAUGHTER. Rodrigo Duterte and youngest daughter Kitty Duterte greet the crowd during a motorcade around Malabon and Navotas. Photo by Alecs Ongcal/ Rappler

In the middle of Duterte’s speech onstage, she would approach him and whisper in his ear to remind him that he needed to wrap up.

Kitty is also set to be the Bible-holder when Duterte takes his oath on June 30.

As a father, Duterte was known to be a disciplinarian who taught his kids to treat everyone fairly. But because of his work as a public official, he was often not home.

Those close to the family say his years away from his 3 eldest children have made him determined to be more involved with the upbringing of his youngest daughter. – with reports from Bea Cupin and Pia Ranada/Rappler.com

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