Presidential daughter and incumbent Davao City Mayor “Inday” Sara Duterte retracts her mayoral candidacy and reelection bid on Nov. 9.
In her official Facebook page, Duterte announced her withdrawal and named their eventual substitutes in the local elections.
“Ngayong hapon wini-withdraw ko ang aking kandidatura sa pagka-Mayor ng Davao City. Si VM Baste ang papalit sa akin. Ito lamang po muna. Maraming salamat po,” she said.
Taking her place as the prospective successor to lead Davao City is her younger brother Sebastian “Baste” Duterte, the city’s incumbent vice mayor.
Hours before her sister’s announcement, the vice mayor released a statement on his Facebook page.
“I have filed my withdrawal as Vice Mayor candidate of Davao City. I hereby nominate Atty. Melchor Quitain Jr. as my substitute. I am deeply grateful to the Dabawenyos for the support they have given me all this time. I have no other details to share at the moment,” he explained.
Quitain Jr. is the majority floor leader of the 19th Davao City Council. He also served as a city councilor in the 1st District for six years.
“Inday” Sara has long been tipped to follow in her father’s footsteps for the Philippine presidency.
In a Pulse Asia survey from Sep. 6 to 11, she emerged as the top choice to win the 2022 presidential elections.
With the substitution deadline for the national posts just mere days away, her path to higher office proves to be imminent in light of the aforementioned developments.
Back in October, Duterte met with presidential aspirant and ex-dictator’s son Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. in Cebu.
Dubbed as a ‘beautiful coincidence’ by the Marcos camp, the two attended the birthday celebration of the wife of House Majority Leader Martin Romualdez.
The downplayed meetup of Marcos Jr. and Duterte was initially perceived as an effort to forge a partnership between the two parties in the upcoming national elections.
For this to materialize, Duterte must submit a substitution bid on or before Nov. 15 to the Commission on Elections (COMELEC).
This late substitution strategy was notably used by President Rodrigo Duterte in 2016, when Partido Demokratiko Pilipino–Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-LABAN)’s Martin Diño withdrew his certificate of candidacy and led to Duterte’s successful presidential bid.
According to former UP Diliman National College of Public Administration and Governance Dean Dr. Maria Fe Villamejor-Mendoza, “Inday” Sara’s potential ‘bait-and-switch’ move is a mere mimicry of President Duterte’s winning formula in 2016.
“[President Duterte] did this [substitution strategy] before and Sara and her team think it will work again. I hope people have learned the lesson of the past and not fall for this rehashed drama again,” she said.
Moreover, Dr. Villamejor-Mendoza bared plausible scenarios for Duterte’s prospective national bid.
- Scenario A: “[Sara Duterte] may team up with Marcos Jr. but who would slide and give in? A [Marcos Jr.-Duterte] tandem may not be forged as both [of them] want to be president.
- Scenario B: “Both [Marcos Jr. and Duterte] will run as president.
- Scenario C: “Sara teams up with [Bong] Go or Duterte, [her] father.
“Scenarios B and C would hope [that the] government coffers and network [with the COMELEC logistics award given to Dennis Uy] may be tapped to ensure a win. In all these developments, our democracy is challenged and we should be more vigilant not to let these happen.
“Revisions on the Omnibus Election Code are also in order, especially the provision on substitution. Placeholders should be disqualified so no substitute will be recognized when they withdraw,” she explained.
As of writing, Senator Ronald “Bato” de la Rosa remains as the standard-bearer of President Duterte’s political party, PDP-LABAN, while Senator Christopher “Bong” Go is their vice-presidential bet.
Meanwhile, Marcos Jr. filed his presidential candidacy under Partido Federal ng Pilipinas. The party has not yet named its vice-presidential candidate. DZUP