MANILA (REUTERS) – Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte’s daughter said late Wednesday (Sept 1) that politicians, including her father’s closest aide and preferred successor, have offered to run with her in next year’s election.
Ms Sara Duterte-Carpio, mayor of the southern Davao City, is leading opinion polls, but has yet to disclose her political plans ahead of the deadline to file for candidacy in October.
In her official Facebook account, Ms Duterte-Carpio said lawmakers Sherwin Gatchalian and Christopher “Bong” Go “personally expressed their offer to run as my vice-president”.
It was unclear when Mr Go made the offer, but Ms Duterte-Carpio’s post comes a few days after Mr Go rejected the ruling party’s endorsement as presidential candidate.
Ms Duterte-Carpio said other possible running mates include former defence minister Gilbert Teodoro, who offered himself through common friends, and the son and namesake of late Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos.
Mr Go and the camp of Marcos did not respond to requests for comment. Other candidates have publicly disclosed their intent to run as Ms Duterte-Carpio’s vice-president.
Ms Duterte-Carpio, 43, has been quoted in media as saying she was open to running for president.
“Whether or not she has already decided on her plans of running, there really is clamour from many sectors,” political analyst and professor Edmund Tayao told Reuters. “Many politicians think she will be a formidable presidential candidate.”
Philippine leader Duterte, 76, is prohibited by the constitution from seeking a second term, but his opponents believe he could extend his grip on power through an election of an ally.
Mr Duterte has declared he will seek the vice-presidency, if daughter Duterte-Carpio does not run for president.
The elder Duterte remains popular despite his anti-narcotics campaign that has killed thousands of suspected drug dealers and users. But his administration is facing growing criticism over its handling of the pandemic, with the Philippines battling the one of the worst coronavirus outbreaks in Asia.
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