Duterte’s daughter leaves mayoral race as Philippines election deadline looms

Sara Duterte, Mayor of Davao and daughter of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, delivers a speech during a senatorial campaign caravan for Hugpong Ng Pagbabago (HNP) in Davao, southern Philippines, May 9, 2019. REUTERS / Lean Daval Jr Photo

  • Her daughter has conducted opinion polls as the preferred presidential candidate
  • The alliance with Marcos has been launched
  • His father’s term as president ends next year
  • Marcos-Duterte ticket possible – analyst

MANILA, Nov. 9 (Reuters) – The daughter of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte withdrew from the Davao mayoral bid on Tuesday, days before the deadline to change candidates in next year’s presidential election .

Sara Duterte-Carpio, who has been widely tipped to succeed her father, did not say why she was withdrawing from the mayoral contest, but told her supporters on Facebook that more announcements would be made later.

The 43-year-old has conducted opinion polls throughout this year as the preferred presidential candidate, but said she did not want the post.

The Philippines is holding elections in May 2022 for positions ranging from president to governors, mayors and local officials. The candidate change window expires on November 15.

“This afternoon, I withdraw my candidacy for mayor of Davao,” she said, announcing that her brother Sebastian, her vice-mayor, would run instead.

Duterte-Carpio has repeatedly stated that she is not interested in running for president.

But she recently expressed her willingness to forge an alliance with another presidential candidate, Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr, the controversial and namesake son of the late dictator who was overthrown in 1986.

The Marcos family have been among the most powerful political families in the Philippines for decades. Marcos supporters urged Duterte-Carpio, known by her nickname Inday, to be his running mate.

Helpers from Duterte-Carpio and Marcos did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

President Duterte, 76, cannot run for a second term under the constitution and is considering retiring.

His daughter is extremely popular and the family enjoys considerable political clout in the south of the country, having ruled Davao for more than three decades.

Other presidential candidates include retired senator and boxing icon Manny Pacquiao, former actor and mayor of Manila Francisco Domagoso, outgoing Vice President Leni Robredo, Senator Panfilo Lacson and Marcos.

Political analyst Edmund Tayao said it was not immediately clear what exactly Duterte-Carpio’s intentions were, but she was unlikely to face Marcos.

“If we are going to speculate on her options, either she will be vice president of Bongbong Marcos or they will change positions with Inday running for president and Bongbong vice president,” he said.

Reporting by Enrico dela Cruz; Editing by Martin Petty and Sanjeev Miglani

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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