DAVAO City Mayor and vice-presidential aspirant Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio expressed interest to handle the Department of National Defense (DND) should she win in the 2022 national elections, according to her running mate, presidential aspirant Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr.

Marcos told Mindanawon members of the media in a virtual presser Friday, January 21, that the mayor had already expressed her intention in a previous interview.

"Nagsabi na siya doon sa isang interview na ang talagang gusto niya 'yung DND. Nagulat nga kaming lahat dahil sabi namin hindi namin expected na 'yung interest niya ay nasa defense (She already said in an interview that she wanted to lead the DND. We were surprised because we didn’t expect that she would eye an interest in handling the defense department)," he said.

He said the mayor's interest had stemmed from previous terrorist attacks in the city, including the Old Davao International Airport bombing in 2003 and the Roxas Night Market bombing in 2016.

"Pero tama rin 'yung sinabi niya na lahat 'yung mga problema tungkol sa security, tungkol sa terrorism ay biktima sila diyan sa Davao [City], at marami na silang naranasan diyan, at marami na siguro silang nagawa para mabawasan ang effect ng terrorism at saka security problems dun sa Davao (But she is right in everything she said about security and terrorism because Davao City has been a victim of it and they had experienced it. The city may have done so much to lessen the effect of terrorism and security threat in Davao)," Marcos said.

He also said the mayor might want to bring Davao's best practices to the national level in addressing security threats.

The presidential aspirant also saw Duterte-Carpio's potential in running the defense department since the latter started from the grassroots as mayor, where she learned how to handle a certain locality.

Marcos added the presidential daughter's "peace initiatives" had been "successful" in the city, which can be adapted to the national level.

"I think she will be a big asset in that regard because sigurado akong marami siyang mga bagong idea na sa palagay ko hindi pa natin nasusubukan noon na naging effective sa Davao na pwede nating i-apply sa national (I am sure that she has fresh ideas that, in my opinion, was not yet implemented in the national level, but was successfully implement in Davao City," he said.

Duterte-Carpio, who was promoted as colonel in the Reserve Force of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in 2018, said Wednesday, January 19, 2022, that she would propose the mandatory rendering of military service for all Filipinos 18 years old and above when she gets elected as vice-president.

This had received mixed views from the public, and other candidates.

Marcos has not issued any statement with regard to the mayor's proposal.

On insurgency and peace talks

When asked by SunStar Davao on his plan to end insurgency, Marcos said his governance will not be done via "military war." Hence, he said his administration will be pushing for social development in areas wherein insurgents have a huge influence.

"We have to make the citizens feel that the government is with them," he said.

The candidate is also pushing for the continuous peace talks, which the Duterte government attempted to pursue but became stale.

"I think the peace talks have to continue kahit frustrating dahil kung minsan hindi nagiging successful, nagpo-prosper (even if it’s frustrating sometimes because it is not successful and is not prospering). But we have to keep on trying," Marcos said.

He added that his governance will try to achieve at least having a ceasefire between the government troops and the rebel groups.

He also emphasized his support to the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict, which he said would continue if ever he will win in the electoral race.