Duterte-Carpio: 'I want to remain wild and free'
MANILA (2nd UPDATE) - Sara Duterte-Carpio, the daughter of President Rodrigo Duterte, on Thursday said she would seek re-election as mayor of the southern city of Davao next year.
"According to Mayor Sara, she will run for re-election as Davao City Mayor," her spokesperson Christina Frasco said in a text message.
Her youngest brother, Sebastian Duterte, would run for vice mayor.
Duterte-Carpio cited her agreement with her father that only one of them should seek a national position in the elections.
She chairs the Regional Hugpong ng Pagbabago and is also a member of the Hugpong sa Tawong Lungsod in Davao City. She has ruled out joining any national political parties.
Asked to address critics who claim she will eventually go the way of her father simply because she is her father’s daughter, Duterte-Carpio maintained she will not file her candidacy for President and explained why substitution is not an option for her.
"I will not file my COC for President on Oct 8. And substitution is not an option, I cannot join a national political party because they are all my friends, I cannot pick one over the other. I want to remain wild and free," she said.
The announcement is the latest in a series of statements from Duterte-Carpio, which have ranged from declaring zero interest in the presidency to announcing names of top politicians approaching her with offers to be her running mate.
Duterte-Carpio said last week she would not seek higher office. She defended her decision, reiterating her agreement with her father.
"Thank you to my supporters for their trust and confidence. I support PRD in his decision to run for VP by not running for President. Working as Mayor is not less distinguished than that of President. To be given the chance of three consecutive terms as Mayor is an honor," she said.
In late August, the mayor urged her father 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.
Her latest announcement comes a day after judges at the International Criminal Court (ICC) approved the launching of an investigation into the president's deadly war on drugs.
Political analysts say the stakes are higher than ever for Duterte, 76, to ensure a loyalist or family member succeeds him, to protect him from a possible indictment at home or abroad after he leaves office.
His government says it will not cooperate with the ICC probe.
Duterte's critics say his decision to run for vice president next year is also a self-preservation move. His office has rejected that, and Duterte says he wants to serve his people.
If Duterte-Carpio wins in the local post in the 2022 elections, it will be her 3rd and final consecutive term as Davao City’s mayor.
Overall, it will be her 4th non-consecutive term, having been mayor for the first time from 2010-2013.
'My father is THE Rodrigo Duterte'
Duterte-Carpio said her father doesn’t need her to protect him once his presidency ends next year.
She said that if she runs, it will be because she can serve the country and nothing else.
“I will run for President because I can serve our country. My father is THE Rodrigo Duterte. He taught me not to rely on anyone for help." she said.
Duterte-Carpio, however, declined to comment on the ICC's decision to investigate her father's war on drugs and killings in Davao City when he was mayor.
Last June, Duterte-Carpio in an ABS-CBN interview expressed the readiness of the city government of Davao to cooperate with the ICC, but only with the permission of the Department of Interior and Local Government.
- with reports from Reuters; RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News