By Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza, Reporter
PRESIDENT Rodrigo R. Duterte on Saturday said his daughter Sara would run for President next year.
Sara Duterte-Carpio, who is mayor of their hometown Davao City, will run in tandem with Senator Christopher Lawrence T. Go, the President’s former aide, the tough-talking leader told a local broadcast journalist.
“It will be a Sara-Go [tandem],” Mr. Duterte said in Filipino outside a hotel near Manila, the Philippine capital, where Mr. Go filed his certificate of candidacy for vice-president.
“No comment,” Ms. Carpio said in a mobile phone message on Sunday. She filed her certificate of candidacy for a third term as mayor at the weekend.
Mr. Duterte, who had flip-flopped on his 2016 presidential run, earlier said he would drop out of the vice-presidential race if his daughter runs for President.
A Social Weather Stations poll in June showed that six of 10 Filipinos thought Mr. Duterte’s vice-presidential run would be illegal.
Ms. Carpio, whose regional party has allied itself with traditional parties less than a year before the 2022 elections, has topped presidential opinion polls.
Asked when his daughter would file her candidacy for President, Mr. Duterte said: “I do not have any idea at all.” “We don’t talk about politics. I would say that it is for the better,” he added.
The Duterte camp’s political move is part of a plan to create a public clamor for Ms. Carpio’s presidential candidacy, said Jean Encinas-Franco, a political science professor at the University of the Philippines (UP).
“It may not be a reluctance but a strategy,” she said in a Facebook Messenger chat. “The potential opponents are uncertain of who they are up against and they also find it difficult to look for a good pair of President and vice president,” she said. “The Dutertes are also shaping the media narrative.”
Ms. Carpio seemed reluctant to run for the country’s top post because she does not want to expose her family to public scrutiny, said Maria Ela L. Atienza, who also teaches political science at UP.
“Maybe, the reluctance is just for show and part of their overall political tactic to surprise competitors,” she said in a Viber message. “Remember that President Duterte also said he was retiring from politics in 2015, but then replaced Martin Diño as a presidential candidate.”
Ms. Atienza said the ruling camp might be doing everything they can to protect Mr. Duterte from potential lawsuits.
“It seems there is pressure for the daughter to run to protect her father from possible cases here and the International Criminal Court (ICC),” she said.
The ICC has ordered an investigation of Mr. Duterte’s crackdown on illegal drugs that has killed thousands, saying crimes against humanity might have been committed.
The court will also probe vigilante-style killings in Davao City when Mr. Duterte was still its vice mayor and mayor.
There have been speculations that the Dutertes would consider ex-Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos, Jr., the late dictator’s son, as either a presidential or vice-presidential candidate.
Political analysts have said Mr. Duterte could not afford to lose support from the Marcoses because their loyal backers supported his presidential candidacy in 2016.
A recent Pulse Asia Research poll showed that Ms. Carpio and Mr. Marcos were among the top choices for president.
Politicians have until Oct. 8 to file their certificates of candidacy. Substitutions are allowed until mid-November.