DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 02 October) — Mayor Sara Duterte arrived unannounced at the Commission on Elections office in Magsaysay Park here Saturday afternoon to file her certificate of candidacy for a fourth term as mayor.
This, amid several caravans in different parts of the country calling on the mayor, who has been topping election surveys, to run for President.
Mayor Duterte’s filing of her COC at 4:15 p.m. came an hour after her father, President Rodrigo Duterte, announced his ‘retirement from politics’ despite initially accepting the nomination of his political party to run for Vice President.
In his stead, Duterte’s long-time aide Christopher “Bong” Go, an incumbent senator whom the PDP-Cusi wing nominated for President, filed his COC for Vice President at around 3:25 p.m. at the Harbor Garden Tent of Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila in Pasay City, venue of the filing of COCs by candidates for national posts.
Mayor Duterte’s filing happened with little fanfare, with only the Presidential Security Group personnel as her entourage. She left the Comelec office as soon as she was done filing.
At the Sofitel tent in Pasay City, President Duterte announced his “retirement from politics.” Six years ago, when he was at the receiving end of calls to run for president, the seven-term mayor repeatedly said retirement was an option. But he sent a representative file his COC for mayor on October 15, 2015. A month later, his daughter Sara ran for mayor as a substitute to her father who ran for the Presidency as a substitute to Martin Dino.
Addressing the nation, the President said that the “universal sentiment of the Filipino has been reflected in the different surveys and in many forums and, well, caucuses and meetings to discuss what I should do in my life.”
“The overwhelming sentiment of the Filipinos is that I am not qualified, and it would be a violation of the Constitution to circumvent the law, the spirit of the Constitution,” he said.
“And so in obedience to the will of the people, who after all placed me in the presidency many years ago, I now say sa mga kababayan ko na sundin ko ang gusto ninyo. Today, I announce my retirement from politics,” he added.
On August 25, the mayor issued a statement that the President was running for Vice President with Go apparently eyeing the Presidency.
“The President, very recently, personally confirmed to me that he will run for Vice President and Senator Go as President. It was not a pleasant event,” the mayor said.
Mayor Duterte said she was given “two letters endorsed to me by the President for consideration — one note explained why I should endorse the Go-Duterte tandem, and the other suggested that I take Senator Go as my Vice President,” she said.
On September 8, President Duterte announced that he had accepted the PDP-Cusi wing’s nomination for Vice President accepted the PDP-Cusi wing’s nomination for Vice President,
On September 9, Mayor Duterte said she was not running for a national position “as we both agreed only one of us will run (for a national position) in 2022.”
The Presidential daughter entered politics in 2007 as Vice Mayor to her father. She was elected mayor in 2010 with her father as vice mayor. Sara returned as mayor in 2016, was reelected in 2019.
The last day fof filing COCs is on October 8 while the last day for substitution is on November 15. (Yas D. Ocampo / MindaNews)