Philippines: Duterte to Run for Senate After Daughter Announces VP Bid

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte (L) and his daughter Sara Duterte arrive for the opening of the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) Annual Conference 2018 in Boao, south China's Hainan province on April 10, 2018. (-/AFP via Getty Images)
-/AFP via Getty Images

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday filed his candidacy for a Philippine Senate seat in a May 2022 general election, two days after his daughter, Sara Duterte, filed her candidacy for the Philippines’ vice presidency in the same election.

The Philippines’ constitution bars presidents of the country from serving more than a single, six-year term, meaning Duterte may not seek reelection to the Philippines’ highest office in 2022. News that Duterte will run for a Philippine Senate seat next year ends months of speculation that he might file a bid for the Philippines’ vice presidency in May 2022, as the office is elected separately from the Philippine presidency.

Sara Duterte’s confirmation on Saturday that she will campaign for the Philippines’ second-highest political office next year likewise ends weeks of conjecture by local media about what moves, if any, she might make in regard to the Philippines’ upcoming general election. The younger has served as the mayor of Davao City, a major Philippine metropolis, since 2016 – a position her father held for decades. The politician withdrew her “certification of candidacy” for reelection as Davao City mayor on November 9, opening up the possibility that she might seek candidacy for other vacant posts in the May 2022 general election.

Sara Duterte, 43, has led Philippine opinion polls throughout 2021 as a preferred candidate for the nation’s presidency next year. In response to rampant rumors she might seek to succeed her father as the Philippines’ president in May 2022, Sara told Reuters in January she had no plans to campaign for the office.

“I am not being coy nor am I doing a ‘last-minute,'” she wrote the news agency via text message.

“If the whole country does not want to believe (this) then I can’t do anything about it. Not everyone wants to be president. I am one of them,” Sara said.

“I thank all of them for their trust and confidence in what I can do but my refusal to run for president is not the end of the world,” she added.

Sara Duterte announced that she had joined a new political party, Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (Lakas-CMD), on November 13 as part of her bid to run for the Philippine vice presidency.

“It’s final. Mayor Sara Duterte is now the official candidate of the Lakas-CMD for Vice President in the 2022 national election,” Lakas-CMD President Ferdinand Martin Romualdez told reporters on November 13.

“We are honored that Mayor Sara accepted the challenge to help lead the party at a crucial time when the nation desperately needs a steady leader who can inspire us all to bounce back from the ravages of the pandemic,” Romualdez said.

Lakas-CMD is a center-right political party that supported Rodrigo Duterte during his successful 2016 campaign for the Philippine presidency. Lakas-CMD is associated with Coalition for Change, which is a larger political party currently led by Rodrigo Duterte. Sara Duterte previously belonged to political parties affiliated with PDP-Laban, which is a national party with populist ideologies also headed by her father.

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