Duterte’s Daughter Will Not Run for Philippine President From Father’s Party

Marielle Lucenio and Basilio Sepe
Manila
2021-10-04
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Duterte’s Daughter Will Not Run for Philippine President From Father’s Party Sara Duterte-Carpio, daughter of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, delivers a speech for a senatorial candidate in Davao City, May 9, 2019.
[Reuters]

President Rodrigo Duterte’s popular daughter will not become the standard bearer for his ruling party in next year’s presidential race even after he announced he would quit politics, in an apparent bid to clear the way for her to do so.

Sara Duterte-Carpio will, however, seek another term as mayor in her hometown of Davao City, her spokeswoman, Christina Garcia Frasco, said.

“Mayor Sara has no intention of becoming a member of PDP or of being its standard-bearer now or in the near future,” Frasco said in a statement, referring to the ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino Laban.

“Sara Duterte has already filed her certificate of candidacy for mayor” of the southern Davao City, Frasco said.

Candidates have until Friday to file documents to be placed on the ballot and until Nov. 15 to withdraw their paperwork and register for a different position ahead of the May 2022 national polls.

On Saturday, President Duterte surprised Filipinos by announcing his plan to leave politics when his term ends in June 2022, after initially saying he would seek the vice presidency. He instead endorsed his loyal aide, Sen. Christopher “Bong” Go, to run for vice president, leaving the top spot open.

Duterte-Carpio previously said she would consider running for president only if her father removed himself from any race.

manila mayor.jpg

Manila Mayor Francisco Domagoso gestures after filing his certificate of candidacy for the 2022 presidential race in Metro Manila, Oct. 4, 2021. [Basilio Sepe/BenarNews]

Running mates

Meanwhile, Manila Mayor Francisco Domagoso, a former actor turned politician, on Monday submitted his certificate of candidacy for the presidency.

“Please accept my humble application, I am running for president of the country and your applicant,” Domagoso, who is also known as Isko Moreno, the name he used as a matinee idol, said after filing.

Domagoso filed his paperwork with his running mate, vice presidential candidate Willie Ong, a doctor who has gained a following through his online medical advice program.

The Manila mayor, who grew up in the slums of city’s Tondo district, has said he would prioritize the government’s COVID-19 strategy patterned after his city’s program.

“I encourage each and every one of you, do not separate Willie and me. You are tired of fighting,” Domagoso said.

“When you vote for the president, and then vote for a different vice president, there would be five or six years of feuding. One will be opposition, one will be administration, and they then forget the people.”

Presidents and vice presidents are elected separately in the Philippines and it is not uncommon for leaders from opposite sides to win their respective races. For instance, Duterte’s vice president is opposition leader Leni Robredo – she has been picked by the opposition coalition as its presidential candidate for 2022 but has yet to file papers or announce her intention to run.

Domagoso joins retired boxing champion Manny Pacquiao as candidates seeking to replace Duterte, whose six-year term ends next year. Under the constitution, a president cannot seek reelection.

Former allies Duterte and Pacquiao have been clashing lately after the sports icon accused the administration of massive corruption linked to efforts to battle COVID-19.

Next year’s election is seen as crucial for the country of 110 million people who will choose a successor to Duterte, whose anti-drugs crackdown has left thousands dead since 2016.

The president faces the prospect of being investigated for “the crime against humanity” tied to the drug killings, a The Hague-based International Criminal Court panel of judges ruled last month.

Duterte’s immunity from lawsuits ends as soon as he leaves office, leading analysts to project he would seek to run for vice president, with Go seeking the presidency. If both were to win, Duterte could rule the country by proxy, according to analysts.

Also at stake next year are 12 Senate seats, all 316 House seats and about 18,000 posts ranging from governors to mayors and town councilors

Also on Monday, Samira Gutoc, a former journalist and civic leader from southern Mindanao, filed her candidacy for the senate – a race she lost in 2019.

“I am the same woman who fights and who fought for you … and I will continue to speak about poverty and hunger,” she said.

Gutoc, who plans to run under Domagoso’s ticket said she was banking on votes from Muslims whom she said are underrepresented in Manila.

Dennis Jay Santos and Richel V. Umel in Davao City, Philippines, contributed to this report.

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