THE support the Duterte's have given to the Garcias of Davao City's second district since time immemorial has, for a fact, transcended the personal.
With the Duterte-style of politics and governance as many would know, endorsing and supporting a candidate, or even appointing someone to a position in City Hall, will always be based on trust and confidence and the person's incorruptible traits.
And as Hugpong sa Tawong Lungsod mayoralty candidate Rodrigo Duterte would always say about Mylene Garcia during interviews, rallies and any chance he has, the congresswoman is academically qualified, intellectually capable, honest, trustworthy, principled, down to earth and clean.
"I have never supported any politician who does not have the trust and confidence of the people first and foremost...and I will never give my support to a corrupt politician…these are the most basic of requirements," Duterte would often say during campaign sorties in the barangay.
The vice mayor would describe Mylene as formal, well-mannered and very hardworking.
"Mylene is intelligent and thorough because of her being a lawyer...she is clean, down to earth and not hypocritical," Duterte said. "Aside from that, my support for Vincent Garcia before and my support to incumbent Mylene Garcia now, are anchored on simple facts; they were never linked or associated to any graft case, no corruption issues, no estafa cases."
The re-electionist mayor would usually depict Mylene's present rival as anti-poor and insincere. Political observers and the constituents of the second congressional district, also opine that Ilagan's candidacy is for her and her family’s’ business interests.
To strengthen his backing for the re-electionist, Duterte even told members of his local party that he will expel them if they cannot offer the same political accommodation to Garcia.
"Members of Hugpong, if you don't support Mylene Garcia, we just have to part ways," Duterte said in his television program a week before the campaign started.
Councilor Paolo Duterte, Hugpong's vice mayoralty candidate, even insinuated to impose a loyalty check among members of Hugpong sa Tawong Lungsod and reminded members of the party that if they do not want to support their party mate, especially Garcia, then they might as well leave.
Just last week, senatorial candidates Chiz Escudero and Grace Poe of Team PNoy, and presidential sister and official endorser of the party Kris Aquino also threw their support behind Mylene Garcia's candidacy.
"We believe in Mylene's abilities and competence," Escudero said.
Recent surveys show both Escudero and Poe are in the winning circle for the Senate race.
Even Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, who normally does not comment about local politics and the upcoming elections, has openly supported Mylene's re-election bid.
"Why change the representative of the second district when Mylene Garcia has proven her being effective and her capability…I personally believe in her and I, with my party mates, will support her," Mayor Duterter-Carpio said.
The support and endorsement of the Dutertes, especially of Rody who was tagged as Mindanao’s poster boy, has been one of the most sought after by both local and national candidates. The Dutertes never lost in the political arena, even when facing the toughest of adversities and hurled the blackest of all propaganda conjured by their political opponents.
But there is more to this than just the Duterte magic. There is the trust rating of the people of Davao City that never declined for the longest time.
In a survey by the Institute of Public Opinion in District 2 of Davao City last year, the Dutertes still emerged as the most popular and most trusted officials and posted a perfect 100 percent. The IPO survey stated that respondents aged 18 to 29, as well as adults aged 36 to 42, both Mayor Sara Duterte and Vice Mayor Rodrigo Duterte are still the most trusted officials.