Taking the challenge

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Friday, December 20, 2013


SHE is new to politics but she vowed to bring public service and good governance not only to her constituents in Barangay Catalunan Grande but to all barangays in Davao City.

Barangay Catalunan chief January Navares-Duterte, 36, wife of Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte, is the newly elected Association of Barangay Captains (ABC) president.

Duterte said she was worried when she learned that most of the barangay captains were endorsing her as the ABC president.

She said she was not yet prepared to sit in the City Council as she planned to focus on Catalunan Grande.

"But now, I guess I'm ready," Duterte said a day before the Election Day.
Born on December 6, Duterte graduated with a degree of Bachelor of Banking and Finance Management in Philippine Women College. They were classmates with Vice Mayor Paolo then.

She also finished her elementary years in Holy Child of Davao and took secondary course in University of Immaculate Conception.

Duterte also took Masters in Communications and Development Studies in University of Southeastern Philippines.

Paolo and January are blessed with two kids, Sabina, 7, and Paolo "Uno", 1.

She ran unopposed and garnered 166 votes during the election held at the Mezzanine Floor of the City Council Sunday morning.

A total of 167 barangay captains casted their votes.

Davao City has a total of 182 barangays. That means some 15 barangay chiefs were a no-show during the election.

Duterte said she is taking the challenge although she is not that ready to seat at the City Council.

"The barangay captains personally relayed to Paolo that they wanted me to become the president. I was hesitant but we simply cannot decline since they also gave their all-out support during the mid-term elections for Paolo as the vice mayor," she said.

"They told me they want me for the position since I am allegedly capable of uniting them as what Paolo did when he was the Liga president," she said.

Duterte has two priority projects in mind-- day care centers, especially in the remote areas of the city, and livelihood for women.

As the Liga president, Duterte said she welcomes all barangay captains, Hugpong member or not.

"Because it is for every barangay captain," she said.

Just like her favorite song, Roar of Katy Perry, Duterte wants to be a champion in leading her constituents although she is still a rookie.

Her favorite song also best describes her since she “got the eye of a tiger when in to comes to figures and finances.”

Duterte is a daughter of Adelina Tabar and Edilberto Navares Jr., a certified public accountant and a banana grower.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on December 21, 2013.

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