Paolo Duterte, daughter Isabelle quarrel on social media

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Paolo Duterte, daughter Isabelle quarrel on social media
The father and daughter, members of President Rodrigo Duterte's family, wash their dirty linen in public

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte’s eldest son Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte and his granddaughter Isabelle Duterte washed their dirty linen in public, bringing to the fore an apparent longtime rift between father and daughter.

It was Paolo who first decided to publicize his squabble with Isabelle, his daughter, through a post on his official Facebook account admonishing her for allowing herself to be “pimped” by an unknown person.

“Just because you were pimped twice by that person doesn’t mean I’ll keep my silence! And that mother of yours and tatay-tatayan (father-like figure) who is not concerned with you – well I’m not like them!” said the Davao City vice mayor in Bisaya.

Paolo also claimed Isabelle had somehow embarrassed herself and that, if she wants, she can just change her family name. 

“Change your family name if you want! You don’t have respect! You just embarrassed yourself! Get an education so your brain isn’t empty. You don’t know how to listen anymore because you’re famous??? Famous, for what, Belle? Famous for disparaging a father? Just wait for my death so you will be free from me! Pray for it, woman!” said Paolo.

He then went on to say the Duterte family would likely be humiliated by his Facebook post but that this was his way of reaching Isabelle, a millennial always on social media.

“I know all of us will be embarrassed over this post. But this is what you want! Let’s talk here because you are a millennial, as they say. You’ll only listen here by your number of likes?!” said Paolo.

In the end, said the presidential son, he doesn’t care if his Facebook post embarrasses him as this could be the only way he could teach his daughter about the consequences of her actions.

But he added a postscript: “FIX YOUR FUCKING LIFE FIRST before I will stop ‘fucking up’ your Christmas every year.”

Paolo appeared to have been responding to Isabelle’s tweets, posted earlier on her private Twitter account. Only Twitter users confirmed by Isabelle have access to her tweets.

But Paolo went on ahead and posted screenshots of her tweets, one of which said, “My dad fucks up my Christmas every year. What a time to be alive.”

She also tweeted a longer message, seemingly addressed to her father.

In English, her post reads: “Just because you have a position in the city doesn’t mean you have the right to beat [someone]!!! Just because you have power doesn’t mean you can hurt people!! That person whom you exerted your power on is a human being!!! Not just [a] human being, but a child!! Not because you’re a Duterte, you can!!”

It’s not clear how Isabelle “embarrassed” herself or brought shame to her father. It could have been her tweet about Paolo ruining her Christmas.

Only the week before, Isabelle grabbed headlines when she held her pre-debut photo shoot at no less than Malacañang Palace.

The controversy pushed even her grandfather, the President, to defend her in a public speech. – with a report from Mick Basa /

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