Sara Duterte-Carpio on November 9 announced on Facebook that she is withdrawing her candidacy for another term as mayor of Davao City.
This sets the stage for the daughter of President Rodrigo Duterte to enter the national race in the May 9, 2022 election in the Philippines.
One major question left is whether Duterte-Carpio will run for president or become the running mate of declared presidential candidate Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.
A survey by a Manila newspaper showed that a Marcos and Duterte-Carpio slate is the tandem to beat next year.
The two topped the presidential-vice presidential tandem survey of The Manila Times.
In the survey conducted from Oct. 26 to Nov. 2, 1,500 respondents were asked, “If you were to vote for a president and a VP pair, who do you think is the best tandem for the Philippines?”
Respondents were given seven pairs to choose from. The survey showed that 55.7 percent of those polled picked the partnership between Marcos and Duterte-Carpio, with a 43.5 percent lead over the second place.
The second most popular choice of respondents for the President-VP tandem was Marcos and Sen. Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go, with 12.2 percent.
This was followed by running mates Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo and Sen. Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan with a share of 10.6 percent, Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso and Dr. Willie Ong with 8 percent, and Sen. Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao and Buhay party-list Rep. Jose “Lito” Atienza Jr., 7.2 percent.
Sen. Panfilo “Ping” Lacson and running mate Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto 3rd got 4.5 percent, and Senators Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa and Go, 1.8 percent.
When he filed his certificate of candidacy, Marcos declared that he was open to discussing with other political parties a possible partnership on who will stand as his running mate for the 2022 elections.
Marcos also topped the presidential survey conducted by The Manila Times, where 68 percent of the respondents said they would vote for the former senator. He was the top choice in Luzon, the Visayas and Mindanao.
Robredo ranked second with 10.8 percent.
The poll was conducted using Google Survey, with a combination of face-to-face and assisted phone interviews. The results of the survey have a margin of error of ±3 percent.
Duterte-Carpio decided to withdraw her candidacy for reelection as Davao City mayor just days ahead of a deadline for the substitution of candidates for the national elections next year.
The deadline is November 15.
Duterte-Carpio, who has topped surveys for the presidency, said her brother, Davao City Vice Mayor Sebastian “Baste” Duterte, who earlier withdrew his reelection bid, will be running for mayor in her stead.
“Ngayong hapon wini-withdraw ko ang akong kandidatura sa pagka-mayor ng Davao City. Si VM Baste ang papalit sa akin (This afternoon, I withdrew my candidacy for Davao City mayor. Vice Mayor Baste will be my substitute),” she said in a statement posted on her official Facebook page on November 9.
The daughter of President Rodrigo Duterte, however, did not disclose further details on her next plans.
“Ito lamang po muna. Maraming salamat po (This is it for now. Thank you very much),” Duterte-Caprio said.
Earlier in the day on November 9, Sebastian backed out of the vice mayoralty race on the advice of his sister.
He nominated as his substitute candidate lawyer Melchor Quintain Jr., who was named as the new Malacañang legal counsel just a few weeks ago.
Various groups have been prodding Duterte-Carpio to take on the presidency despite the mayor’s earlier statements that she has no plans to run for a higher position.
The 43-year-old mayor has maintained her lead in pre-election surveys on contenders who may replace her father when he steps down in 2022.
Prior to her withdrawal from the Davao City mayoralty race, Duterte-Carpio had met with at least two others eyeing Malacañang: Marcos and Dela Rosa.
Dela Rosa, the candidate of the ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino–Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban), has been vocal about being open for substitution with Duterte-Carpio.
Dela Rosa is running in tandem with Go under the PDP-Laban.
The ruling party has also pitched to President Duterte the idea of him running for the Senate, but the latter is still “discerning” it, after he initially announced that he will withdraw from politics when his term ends.
Political parties are still allowed to substitute a member who filed a certificate of candidacy with another member until November 15, under current rules of the Commission on Elections.
Duterte’s daughter previously said she will not run for the presidency after her father accepted the nomination of his PDP-Laban party to run for vice president, only to withdraw later.
His political party then pushed Duterte to run for senator.
Duterte previously told his daughter to seek the presidency with his long-time aide-turned-senator Bong Go as her running mate.
Meanwhile, and also on November 9, Go conceded he cannot control those who want to run, as he said there might be changes in his political plans for the 2022 elections.
“My candidacy for vice president might change. Changes in politics are inevitable because as I have said, politics is dirty,” an emotional Go said in an event in Antipolo City.
Duterte’s longtime aide mentioned something about “a problem in substitution,” but he did not elaborate.
“This problem about the substitution in politics … there might be changes in the candidacies in the coming days. The problem here is I have to avoid that. Even if I want to serve as your vice president as what the President wanted, I need to avoid it. You will know about it in the next few days,” he told the audience in Filipino.
Dela Rosa, a former Philippine National Police chief, has repeatedly told several media interviews that he stays as the Cusi faction standard-bearer only until November 15.
Despite insisting he is a very serious contender and 100 percent sure of fighting it out for the most coveted elective post, Dela Rosa said he is willing to give way to the President’s daughter.
Dela Rosa pointed out that Duterte-Carpio has the biggest fighting chance to win as president since she has been a consistent frontrunner in all surveys.
Dela Rosa previously flew to Davao City to seek an audience with Duterte-Caroio, who has been the frontrunner in several presidential surveys despite repeatedly announcing she is not seeking a national post next year.
Dela Rosa shared on Facebook a photo of him and the mayor at the Davao City Hall.
“I just reminded her that November 15 is fast approaching,” the senator said.