A day after shocking the public by announcing his retirement from running for vice president in next year’s election and retiring from politics, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte announced Sunday the possibility of his daughter running for the 2022 election.
Media reports have reported that Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s daughter, Sara Duterte-Carpio, will contest the 2022 presidential election. Her father’s longtime close aide – who has been running for vice president – will be his running mate.
Sara Duterte-Carpio, who is currently mayor of Davao – the Philippines’ third-largest city – recently volunteered to defend her term as mayor. Previously he said he did not want to fight in the presidential election next year.
Reuters news agency quoted ABS-CBN, which based its report on Duterte’s interview with a journalist soon after he announced his retirement from politics and accompanied Senator Christopher “Bong” Go – one of his most loyal figures – to register as a vice presidential candidate.
He (Duterte.red) was asked, “So it’s clear, Sara-Go?” Duterte replied, “Yes Sara-Go.”
When asked to confirm what President Duterte said, Sara Duterte-Carpio spokeswoman Christina Garcia Frasco told Reuters, “What I know is the same as what is reported in the local media. We have no comment on that.”
Senator Christopher “Bong” Go has not yet responded to a request for confirmation from Reuters.
The ABS-CBN news report said it had obtained permission from reporters interviewing Duterte to use a video interview showing Duterte outside a hotel in Manila, where election candidates register. The journalist also provided a transcript of his interview.
In the same clip, Duterte is asked when his daughter will submit his candidacy for president, he replies, “I really don’t know. I have absolutely no idea.”
Asked again if he had allowed his daughter to run for president, Duterte replied, “Ah, no. Actually we don’t talk about politics. We haven’t talked about politics in a long time. I said it was for the better.”
Duterte’s political party has also not officially confirmed the candidate to be nominated, while Duterte-Carpio is from another party.
Political expert Temario Rivera said while Duterte’s daughter could potentially win, a different outcome might be obtained with Go’s presence which has no political basis. This makes the Duterte-Carpio and Go “tickets” “weak.” “This would be an inappropriate political decision because what added value can Bong Go add to Sara’s candidacy?” Rivera said.
While Duterte-Carpio is by far the most popular presidential candidate, according to consecutive polls conducted this year, Go – who was a presidential aide long before becoming a senator – is only one of the vice presidential candidates on the list.
Duterte, who turns 76, said Saturday he was stepping down from politics, a move that came as a surprise and sparked speculation that he was paving the way for his daughter. Duterte was previously expected to run for vice president, a move that most Filipinos oppose because it violates the spirit of the constitution which limits the president’s opportunity to serve one term so as not to abuse power.
In another development, Vice President Leni Robredo will this week decide whether she will contest next year’s presidential election. Robredo’s spokesman on Sunday (3/10) made this announcement after Robredo’s arch-rival and incumbent Rodrigo Duterte resigned from politics.
Robredo, who is known to be a staunch critic of Duterte’s controversial policies to crack down on drugs, is likely to be the only opposition candidate in the May 2022 election.
Robredo’s spokesman, Barry Gutierrez, told AFP news agency he had not yet received the opposition coalition’s nomination and would announce his decision before the October 8 nomination deadline. [em/ka]