President Duterte was only talking about his preferred May 2022 tandem when he said over the weekend that it’s time for “Sara-Go”.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque gave this explanation Monday, Oct. 4 as the public tried to reconcile the Chief Executive’s pronouncement in light of presidential daughter Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio’s decision to run for reelection next year.
“As far as the President is concerned he thinks it will be a Sara-Go tandem, but that is as far as the President is concerned,” Roque said in a virtual press conference at SM City Clark in Pampanga.
“I’m speaking only for the President. I think the President has said that he wants Mayor Sara to run with Senator [Christopher] Bong Go,” he noted.
It was last Saturday when Go swerved political pundits by filing his certificate of candidacy (COC) for vice president under ruling party Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban). This meant that Go took the supposed place of President Duterte in the upcoming elections.
The President, who accompanied Go in filing his COC, told a group of people minutes later that it’s going to be “Sara-Go” –heavily implying that Duterte-Carpio will run for president while Go will run for vice president.
But just shortly after this, Duterte-Carpio filed her COC for the 2022 mayoralty race in Davao City–a local position.
“I can only speak for the President because Mayor Sara has her own spokesperson…I would have to refer you to Mayor Frasco, the spokesperson of Mayor Sara,” Roque about about Duterte-Carpio’s COC filing. The spokesperson he was referring to was Liloan Mayor Christina Garcia Frasco.
“Now, alam ko po na nag-file naman siya ng certificate of candidacy pero (Now, I know that she has filed a certificate of candidacy but) all lawyers know that all certificates of candidacy can be withdrawn,” the Palace mouthpiece said. As of now, PDP-Laban does not have a standard-bearer.
Both Dutertes, as well as Roque, are lawyers.
Duterte-Carpio said last July that she’s open to running for the country’s top post. However, she stressed that only one Duterte should run for the national positions of president and vice president.
Now that her father has stepped aside in favor of Go and announced his “retirement” from politics, Duterte-Carpio may now vie for the presidency without contradicting herself.
Only time will tell if she will change her mind; the COC filing period will last up to Oct. 8, although the Commission on Elections (Comelec) has also said that poll candidates may be substituted untill Nov. 15.