DAVAO CITY – The second day of the filing of candidacy for the 2022 elections, , Saturday October 2, saw surprise moves from the Duterte camp.
Around 4 pm, Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio filed her candidacy for reelection as mayor without much fanfare in the field office of Comelec in Magsaysay Park, Davao City, escorted only by presidential guards.
Her filing was made when hours ago, supporters in Manila staged a rally urging her to consider running for the presidency, where she has placed first in surveys for the past year.
About the same time, Senator and former Presidential Assistant Christopher ‘Bong’ Go made his way to the Sofitel Philippine Plaza in Pasay, venue for the filing of candidates for national posts, to file his candidacy for vice presidency.
The move also surprised the public as he is the nominee for the president of Duterte’s party, Partido ng Demokratikong Pilipino (PDP-Laban). Go had declined the nomination.
Go was accompanied by President Duterte, who was nominated by his party for the vice presidency. But the president announced his “retirement from politics”.
Vice presidential run unconstitutional
Duterte told reporters that he is heeding the “overwhelming sentiment of the Filipinos” that said his running for the vice presidency violates the Constitution.
“The overwhelming sentiment of the Filipinos is that I am not qualified, and it would be a violation of the Constitution to circumvent the law, the spirit of the Constitution,” he said.
The recent poll from the Social Weather Station showed 60% disapprove of Duterte’s running for the vice presidency as this violates the Constitution that bars a president from seeking reelection in higher office.
On the third day, October 3, Sebastian ‘Baste’ Duterte, brother of Sara filed his candidacy seeking re-election as vice mayor of Davao City. He also filed in behalf of his brother, Paulo ‘Pulong’ Duterte for re-election as the city’s first district representative.
‘A miracle’ to change Sara’s mind
In a report by Rappler, Baste said it will take a lot of convincing for Sara to change her position, as the Comelec allows substitution of candidates until November 15.
“It would take a miracle, but I doubt it. It’s up to them (Sara’s supporters),” Baste was quoted by Rappler.
Earlier, Sara has announced that she is opposed to her father’s plans to have her consider running for the presidency.
Speculations abound from supporters, media and analysts that the Dutertes may adopt the same strategy they did during the 2016 presidential elections.
During that time, Rodrigo Duterte declined to run for the presidency despite a groundswell of support drawn by a social media campaign. He filed instead for reelection as Davao City mayor on October 2015 while his party fielded Martin Diño for the presidency. By November, Duterte changed his mind and substituted for Diño, while Sara substituted and filed for the mayoral position, and the rest was history.
Candidates can do substitution until November 15.
Sara Duterte enjoys a five point lead ahead of ally Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr for the presidency in the latest Pulse Asia survey held in the first week of September. However, Duterte had a strong showing in Mindanao with 47% while garnering 23 % in Visayas, 12 % in Metro Manila, and 8 % in Balance Luzon.