Davao Elections ’07: Same Faces, Same Names
That, in a nutshell, defines the elections in Davao City less than two months from now. The Dutertes are running virtually unopposed: for the first time ever, the city is faced with the possibility of having a father and his daughter occupying the top posts at City Hall. Incumbent councilors and congressmen, not surprisingly, have an edge over the independents and smaller political parties. Only the congressional race in the third district promises a real contest, with three politicians vying for the House seat.
By Tyrone A. Velez
DAVAO CITY — The same faces, the same names. That, in a nutshell, defines the elections in Davao City less than two months from now. The Dutertes are running virtually unopposed, and incumbent councilors and congressmen, not surprisingly, have an edge over the independents. Only the congressional race in the third district promises a real contest, with three politicians vying for the post.
The Dutertes continue to hold sway over Davao politics. For the first time ever, the city is faced with the possibility of having a father and his daughter occupying the top posts at City Hall.
Incumbent Mayor Rodrigo Duterte bids for his sixth and final term as mayor. His daughter, 28-year-old Sara, a lawyer, is his running mate. Both filed their certificates of candidacy under the PDP Laban party at the Comelec earlier this week.
Given the popularity of Duterte, the mayoralty race is seen here not so much as a race but as a prelude to the daughter’s apparent aim to eventually succeed her 60-year-old father. If Sara wins as vice mayor — and many here don’t see a reason why she won’t — it would be much easier for her to run for mayor in the next election.
Duterte had earlier hinted that he would retire from public office after 2010. Earlier this year, he said he would make sure that another Duterte would continue reigning at City Hall.
The mayor broached the idea of having daughter Sara as his running mate to preempt the vice-mayoralty bid of his two-time rival and former ally Benjamin de Guzman. The mayor has said that he asked Sara to run in order to prevent traditional politicians from seizing the City Hall.
In the end, de Guzman decided to run for congressman of the city’s third district, where his chances of winning is much greater. The only remaining opponent for Sara is a political unknown, one Jeff Ho, a doctor who is running as an independent candidate.
Unknowns Challenge Duterte
A broadcaster, an unemployed man, a charcoal vendor, and a mechanical engineer — these are the four candidates challenging Duterte for mayor. In past elections, political unknowns ran against Duterte, and lost miserably.
Justiniano “Sonny” Joaquin, a 60-year-old broadcaster from radio station DXOW, is running for the first time. So is Teodoro Mantilla and Rodrigo Sulamin.
Sulamin, a resident of Bangkal, is the first to file his candidacy as early as January 15. He did not specify his occupation except that he is an accounting graduate.
Mantilla is the youngest challenger at 39, and lists mechanical engineer as his occupation and resides in Diamond Village, Lanang.
Henry Satera is running against Duterte for the second time. He claims to be a bodyguard of Benjamin de Guzman. He claimed that de Guzman was supposed to be his running mate this year. Satera is a charcoal vendor residing at Exodus Village.
Joaquin, Sulamin, Mantilla and Satera have yet to present their platforms for government.