Sara Duterte-Carpio (L) and Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos gestures during an alliance meeting in Paranaque, Metro Manila. File / Reuters
The daughter of President Duterte announced her withdrawal to run for re-election as the mayor of their hometown of Davao City in Mindanao in what is considered as a major political development that could affect the coming presidential elections in May 2022 less than a year away.
Sara Duterte-Carpio, who has been widely tipped to run to succeed her father, did not say why she was withdrawing from the mayor contest, but told supporters on Facebook that further announcements would be made later.
“This afternoon, I withdrew my candidacy (for re-election) for Davao City mayor,” said Sara in a mix of Filipino and the Bisayan language on her Facebook page.
“This is all for now,” she added without any explanation. Reports are said that she personally went on Tuesday to the Commission on Elections (Comelec) office in Davao City to personally withdraw her certificate of candidacy. Sara also said her brother Sebastian “Baste” Duterte, would run for mayor in her stead.
In turn, Sebastian earlier announced that he was also withdrawing his re-election bid for vice mayor of Davao City as “ordered” by sister Sara.
Another brother Paolo is likewise seeking re-election as congressman for their hometown. At the same time, Baste reported that another ally Councilor Melchor Quitain was asked to run for vice mayor of Davao City.
In a separate interview, Quitain, who was recently appointed by Duterte as the chief presidential legal counsel, admitted in an interview that he was “surprised” at the turn of political events in Davao City which has been “controlled” by the Duterte family for years.
Analysts also pointed out that this development could have a major impact in the coming May 2022 presidential elections.
And more so now that the deadline set by the Comelec for the substitution of candidates especially in the presidential elections is just six days away on Nov.15.
Earlier, Sara announced that she would not run for any national position in the coming elections, including the presidency. She explained she would just seek re-election as Davao City mayor as long as her father was involved in national politics. But Sara’s allies in the regional party called “Hugpong ng Pagbabago” (Movement for Change), insisted that she seek the presidency in May 2022 to succeed her father. Sara also had earlier meetings with two president aspirants - Senator Ronald dela Rosa, the standard bearer of a wing of the divided ruling political party PDP-Laban, and former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, the only son and namesake of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos.
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