Dutertes' political plans already set; substitution scenarios unlikely — Roque

Published October 20, 2021, 3:39 PM

by Ellson Quismorio

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque is convinced that neither President Duterte nor his daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio would go the substitution route for the upcoming May 2022 elections.

President Rodrigo Duterte and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio (Photos from Malacañang/ MANILA BULLETIN)

Roque, speaking in the Kapihan sa Manila Bay news forum Wednesday, Oct. 20, said he believes that the Dutertes won’t be having last-minute changes in their plans in connection with the polls.

This means that the father will indeed retire from politics upon the expiration of his Palace tenure, while the daughter will vie for a third term as Davao mayor next year.

In the forum, Roque once again expressed his desire to see the lady official run for president in the elections.

“I would say that’s a personal aspiration I have. I’m praying for that…I don’t think it will happen anymore,” he said.

“I think Mayor Sara has really set and concluded, ‘This is it, I will run only for the position of mayor,'” the spokesperson said.

President Duterte was supposed to file his certificate of candidacy (COC) for vice president under the ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) earlier this month, but he instead let his close ally, Senator Christopher “Bong” Go take his place. The 76-year-old Philippine leader then announced that he would “retire from politics” after he steps down from his post on June 30, 2022.

However, political observers have said that Duterte-Carpio could still join the 2022 Palace race by substituting PDP-Laban’s current standard-bearer, Senator Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa.

As for the elder Duterte, he could still opt to run for mayor of Davao, a position he formerly held for two decades; or substitute Go and go ahead with his original plan of vying for the vice presidency.

“Well, if the daughter is running for mayor, how can he (President Duterte) run against the daughter?” Roque asked.

Asked directly if he thinks there’s a chance that the Chief Executive would substitute Go, Roque answered in the negative.

“I think when he said he’s done with politics, it’s an absolute assurance that he will no longer seek the post of vice president.”

President Duterte is known for changing his mind on his decisions, which is a huge reason why pundits believe he would still make a “surprise” move ahead of the polls.

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has said that substitutions for poll bets will be accepted up to Nov. 15, 2021.