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

Sara Duterte-Carpio has pulled out her certificate of candidacy (COC) for re-election as Davao City mayor on Tuesday (November 9, 2021), six days before the deadline on substitutions. The move fuels speculation of a posssible run for a national post, either as president or vice president.

Sara Duterte, commonly known as Inday Sara, is the daughter of Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte with Elizabeth Zimmerman. The 43-year-old lawyer is the incumbent Mayor of Davao City. She also served as the city mayor from June 30, 2010, until June 30, 2013.

Sara withdraws
A post in Filipino language on her official FB page translates: "This afternoon, I'm withdrawing my candidacy for Mayor of Davao City. Vice Mayor Baste (Sara's younger brother Sebastian Duterte) will replace me. Attorney Melchor Quitain is our nominee for Vice Mayor. This is all for now. Thank you very much." Image Credit: Facebook

Sara's political party Hugpong ng Pagbabago has endorsed her presidential run. Her father's party, PDP-Laban (Cusi wing), did the same. Filipino boxing legend Emmanuel "Manny" Pacquio is also running for president under another wing of the PDP-Laban party.

Meanwhile, Senator Bong Go, a close ally of the Dutertes, has announced on Tuesday his withdrawal from the Vice-Presidential race, paving the way for substitution by Sara. She has been seen in talks with Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr, 64, recently. Marcos Jr is running for president in the May 2022 elections.

As per election rules, the deadline for substitutions is November 15, 2021. A Marcos-Duterte tandem for president and vice president, respectively, would be formidable as it combines the traditional bailiwicks of Marcoses in the North and Dutertes in the South, banking on votes along tribal, or language group, lines.

But since Sara has not announced anything yet following her withdrawal from the Davao mayoralty race, her piece-meal announcement keeps political observers and supporters on tenterhooks.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte 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. Image Credit: AFP