Duterte-Carpio says father, Go, confirmed 2022 bid 'privately'
MANILA (UPDATE) — Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio on Wednesday urged her father, President Rodrigo Duterte, and ruling party PDP-Laban to be accountable with their political decisions for next year's elections, after the chief executive supposedly backtracked on his statements on the matter to give way for her possible presidential bid.
In a statement, Duterte-Carpio said her father confirmed personally to her his decision to run as vice president next year, with long-time aide Sen. Christopher "Bong" Go as president.
She said the development was "not a pleasant event."
This is because the Davao mayor was also presented with the option of "endorsing" the Duterte-Go tandem, and another for her to run next year as president, with Go as her running mate.
"I respectfully advise them to stop talking about me and make me the reason for them running or not running," Duterte-Carpio said.
She prefaced her statement with an apology to her mother and said she was speaking "from the point of view of a politician and nothing else."
"I strongly suggest to the President and Senator Go to own up publicly [to] their decision to run as a tandem. If they can confirm it privately, then I do not see the reason why they cannot be candid about it to the public," she said.
Duterte's daughter, who topped recent opinion polls on the 2022 presidential elections, also pointed out that she is not a "last two minutes" person, a reference to how easy she could be made substitute as a presidential candidate for the 2022 polls, which happened when the President ran in 2016.
"I think, I organize, and I implement accordingly. In the meantime, I refuse to be a political punching bag for a party in complete disarray," she added, referring to the ruling PDP-Laban whose Cusi faction is endorsing the Go-Duterte tandem.
Duterte-Carpio's statement came after reports surfaced Wednesday morning about her father's supposed edited speech on Tuesday night.
Duterte said he would not run as vice president if the Davao City mayor runs for the country's top post, according to his spokesman Harry Roque. This portion of his remarks was not in the video of his speech that was aired.
What was included was his categorical statement that he would run for the vice presidency, confirming a similar announcement earlier on Tuesday by a faction of his political party. The said plan has been criticized by opponents as a ploy for the President to stay in power.
Duterte's faction in their party announced that the 76-year-old chief executive heeded “the clamor of the people and accepted the endorsement of the PDP Laban Party for him to run as Vice President in the 2022 National Elections."
The announcement was made by the PDP-Laban wing led by Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi weeks after its national executive committee adopted a resolution supporting a Go-Duterte tandem in the 2022 elections.
PDP-Laban's 'sad state'
Duterte-Carpio also directly addressed stalwarts of the other PDP-Laban faction, Sen. Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III and PDP-Laban secretary general Ron Munsayac, saying they should "stop blaming me for the sad state of their political party."
Cusi in July said Duterte's daughter is "more PDP" than Sen. Manny Pacquiao, who is being backed by Pimentel and Munsayac.
Pacquiao's and Cusi's factions have been battling control over PDP-Laban, which was founded by Pimentel's father, the late Sen. Nene Pimentel. Recently, Cusi's group ousted Pacquiao as party president, a move being contested by the latter's faction.
A Pacquiao ally alleged that the rift between Pacquiao and Cusi was rooted in Duterte-Carpio's possible presidential bid. The Davao mayor belongs to a different party— Hugpong ng Pagbabago.
"It is not my fault that no one among you is a leader worthy of the respect of the majority. Do not blame me for the sitcom that your party has been reduced to," Duterte-Carpio told Pimentel and Munsayac.
Pimentel questioned his inclusion in Duterte-Caprio's statement, noting that the party's dispute was an internal issue.
"I never dragged an outsider into our internal dispute or blamed an outsider for the internal dispute or for causing the internal dispute. Our internal dispute has been caused by someone from the inside," said Pimentel.
"That an outsider is being considered as the presidential candidate by an insider is not the fault of the person being mentioned but the fault of the insider who lacks faith, confidence and loyalty to his Party and the talent and skills of the Party members," he added.
The squabble in the ruling party surfaced in March when Cusi's group began collecting signatures from PDP-Laban members to urge Duterte to run for vice president next year, when his term as president ends.
GO: I'M NOT INTERESTED IN THE PRESIDENCY
Hours after Duterte-Carpio issued her statement, Go, whose 2019 senatorial bid she had endorsed, said he is not interested to seek the country's highest office.
Go issued such statement even as Cabinet Secretary and PDP-Laban executive vice president Karlo Nograles confirmed that officials of their party who comprise the executive committee will officially nominate him during their convention on Sept. 8 as their 2022 standard bearer.
"As far as PDP-Laban execom is concerned, ‘yong aming mga national officers, ang aming endorsement, ang ino-nominate namin for President is Sen. Bong Go," Nograles told ABS-CBN's Teleradyo.
(As far as PDP-Laban execom is concerned, our national officers, we will endorse and nominate Sen. Bong Go for President.)
Nograles added they are awaiting Go's final decision.
In his statement, Go said he leaves his fate up to God and the Dutertes whom he had started working with in the late 1990s.
"As I have said before, if Mayor Sara runs, I will support her.
Umpisa pa lang, sinabi ko na kung ano ang magiging desisyon ng mga Duterte ay suportado ko ito. Sa ngayon, antayin na lang natin ang kanilang pinal na desisyon," Go said.
(I have said in the beginning that I would support the decision of the Dutertes -- whatever it may be. But for now, let us wait for their final decision.)
He also urged the public and politicians to "put him last" whenever they talk about the upcoming elections, as he supposedly would rather serve silently for Filipinos.
"Please lang, pagdating sa usaping eleksyon, ihuli niyo na ako dahil hindi talaga ako interesado na tumakbong Pangulo. Lahat ng problema sinasalo ng Pangulo," said the neophyte senator whose term ends in 2025.
(When it comes to discussions about the election, please put me last because I am not interested to run as president. All of the problems are received by the top leader of the land.)
"Mas gugustuhin kong magtrabaho at magserbisyo sa tahimik na paraan na may resulta para sa kapakanan ng mga Pilipino."
(I would rather work silently and productively serve Filipinos.)
— with reports from RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News