MANILA - Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio on Friday maintained that she was not running for president even as supporters claimed she would file her certificate of candidacy (CoC) on Friday, the last day of Comelec accepting CoCs.
Four hours before the filing deadline, Duterte-Carpio said she would seek a third term as mayor in Davao City.
“I am presenting myself to the Dabawenyos as mayor for the third and last time in my life as a politician. I call on everyone to work together for an honest, orderly and credible elections in May 2022,” Duterte-Carpio said.
At the same time, she also expressed her gratitude to her supporters, who continued hoping she would file her COC for the country's top post.
"Thank you to everyone who have expressed their support. Many of you do not know me and yet you carry me over your shoulders. Like the other millions of Filipinos, I share with you the same goal of living a peaceful and prosperous life in our country, today and in many years to come," the statement read.
Duterte-Carpio on Saturday filed for a 3rd and final term as Davao City mayor, the 4th non-consecutive term she could win.
On Sept. 9, the President's daughter said she would not run for president, citing her agreement with her father that only one of them should run for national office.
But President Rodrigo Duterte, 76, said on Saturday he was retiring from politics, a surprise move that fueled speculation he was clearing the way for a presidential run by his daughter.
Her father’s aide, Sen. Bong Go on the same day filed his COC for the vice president with no fielded presidential candidate.
Duterte-Carpio's spokesperson, Liloan Cebu Mayor Christina Frasco, earlier rejected the possibility of a Sara-Go tandem on her behalf.
Duterte-Carpio's mayorial re-election filing, did little to douse speculation she has her eye on the presidency.
Political analysts were skeptical, noting that last-minute changes were still possible, as in 2015 when Duterte entered the presidential election race at the eleventh hour and won by a huge margin, and Duterte-Carpio, they said, could do the same.
Candidates have until Oct. 8 to register, but withdrawals and substitutions are allowed until Nov. 15, leaving scope for last-minute changes.