With Duterte, daughter set to vie for the Philippines’ vice-presidency, another option emerges
- A day after withdrawing her bid for re-election as mayor of Davao City, Sara Duterte-Carpio filed her candidacy on Saturday to run for vice-president
- Her father President Rodrigo Duterte has said he’s in the running for vice-president too – though some suspect the father-daughter duo have other plans in mind
The next few hours saw Senator Ronald ‘Bato’ Dela Rosa, who had been put forward as a candidate by President Duterte’s PDP-Laban Party, withdraw from the presidential race to be replaced by his running mate, Senator Christopher “Bong” Go. This left a vice-presidential slot open which Duterte, who had accompanied Senator Go to his candidacy filing, confirmed to reporters he intended to fill.
If Duterte files his certificate of candidacy for the vice presidency on Monday, as presidential communications chief Martin Andanar told reporters, then father and daughter would be left vying for the same post in next year’s polls.
However, political analyst Roman Casiple told This Week In Asia that he “suspected” the Marcos and Duterte families were still negotiating a “term-sharing agreement” for the six-year presidency that would see Marcos Jnr and Duterte-Carpio take turns in the top job for three years each.
The Duterte-Duterte “tandem” would be a fallback position if negotiations sour, according to Casiple. Such a plan would entail Marcos Jnr being disqualified and Duterte-Carpio becoming president with her father as her second-in-command.
In the Philippines, the president and vice-president are elected separately.
Casiple, who is executive director of the Institute for Political and Electoral Reforms, said that President Duterte was the type of politician who plans his political moves well in advance while also taking advantage of sudden opportunities.
“He is not impetuous [but] you cannot foresee what he is going to do next,” he said.
Marcos Jnr is the subject of multiple cases filed with the Commission on Elections – which Casiple said “Duterte controls” after appointing six of its seven members – calling for his disqualification citing tax fraud.
If he is disqualified, Lakas-CMD could simply elevate Duterte-Carpio as its presidential candidate while her father runs for the vice-presidency under PDP-Laban, according to Casiple.
“That is not far-fetched if you know [Rodrigo] Duterte,” he said.
Vice-presidential candidate Senator Francis Pangilinan, Robredo’s running mate, said Saturday’s reshuffles had not come as a surprise.
“We expected the last minute-substitution and there probably may be a few more,” he said. “Whoever else files, we will simply continue to focus on our campaign preparations.”
Senate President Vicente Sotto III, whom a recent poll identified as the front runner in the vice-presidential race even with Duterte-Carpio running, said he would campaign the “same as before”.
“We are focused on our programmes and platform for good governance. It does not matter to us whoever else is running,” he said.