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File photo | Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte with daughter Sara Duterte-Carpio. Image Credit: Reuters

Manila, Philippines: President Rodrigo Duterte said Sunday (November 14, 2021) he will run against his own daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio.

The younger Duterte on Saturday formalised her candidacy for vice president, via substitution, in next year’s national elections.

Bizarre event

In a rather bizarre, and possibly unprecedented turn in Philippine politics, father and daughter then may end up in direct competition for the second-highest elected office in the Asian country.

On Sunday, Communications Secretary Martin Andanar confirmed that President Duterte would also run for vice president and would file his candidacy papers on Monday (November 15, 2021), Philippine media reported.

Deadline for substitutions

President Duterte's possible run against his own daughter came as a surprise. He spoke Sunday to Philippine media while he accompanied his longtime aide, Senator Bong Go, as Go sought the presidency via substitution. It was then that Duterte declared he will also run for vice president through the same route (substitutions), as the Monday (November 15) deadline looms.

Sara Duterte-Cario substituted for the vice-presidential candidate of Gloria Arroyo-backed Lakas-CMD Party. Bongbong Marcos, who is running under Partido Federal ng Pilipinas (PFP), has "adopted" Duterte-Carpio as his vice presidential bet.

Unprecedented

Local media reported that President Duterte was "perplexed" by his daughter's decision to run for vice president in 2022. She was leading in the presidential surveys: What explains her decision to seek a lower post?

President Duterte said he could think only of one reason: "I'm sure yung pagtakbo ni Sara, ay desisyon nila Bongbong yun (I'm sure this run of Sara is a decision of Bongbong's camp)," Duterte said in an interview with pro-Duterte radio host Byron Cristobal early on Sunday morning, November 14.

Duterte-Carpio also said Sunday that offer to run for VP was an opportunity to meet supporters halfway. "After the [COC filing] deadline, the offer to run for Vice President became an opportunity to meet you halfway. It's a path that would allow me to heed your call to serve our country," she said.

Her explanation came after an authorised representative filed her candidacy for vice president under Lakas-CMD, substituting its "placeholder" bet Lyle Uy.

"I am here to answer your call. I appeal to all supporters to stay calm," she told supporters.

Sara, 43, is the daughter of President Rodrigo Duterte. She said the vice presidency would also make her a “stronger person and public servant in the years that lie ahead.”

Meanwhile, she sought to distance herself from the developments in the ruling party PDP-Laban, of which her father is a leader.

After Duterte-Carpio's candidacy for vice president was filed on Saturday at the Commission on Elections, Sen. Ronald "Bato" Dela Rosa and Sen. Christopher "Bong" Go arrived at the poll body's office to withdraw their presidential and vice presidential bids, respectively, under PDP-Laban.

Local media showed President Duterte with one of his closest allies, Senator Bong Go, at the Commission on Elections office in Manila.

The Philippine Constitution prevents presidents from seeking a second term after a six-year, single-term watch.