MANILA — Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio believes "the ship has sailed" for her potential bid for the presidency in the 2022 elections, her ally said on Monday, after her visit to vote-rich Cebu.
Duterte-Carpio was in Cebu last week, where she met with the province's Governor Gwen Garcia and presidential contender Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr.
"Nakausap ko po kasi si Governor Gwen Garcia para malaman kung ano talagang napag-usapan sa Cebu. Ang sabi po ni Governor Gwen sa akin is ang sabi daw ni Mayor Sara on her possibility of running for president, 'That ship has sailed,'" said Malacañang spokesman Harry Roque.
(I talked with Governor Gwen Garcia to find out what was discussed in Cebu. Governor Gwen told me that Mayor Sara said of her possibility of running for president, 'That ship has sailed.')
"Talagang mayor po ang takbo ni Mayor Sara," he said in a press briefing, when asked if President Rodrigo Duterte was still convincing his daughter to vie for his post.
(Mayor Sara is really running for mayor.)
Video courtesy of PTV
The President earlier said Duterte-Carpio would run for president next year. But the mayor, who was frontrunner at pre-election surveys for the presidency, has registered a candidacy for re-election.
Analysts say Duterte-Carpio could still make a last-minute bid for the presidency as a substitute candidate until Nov. 15, like how her father did in 2016.
Filipinos "love a reluctant candidate", University of the Philippines political science professor Jean Franco earlier told Agence France-Presse.
Duterte-Carpio, 43, arrived in Cebu last Friday in a green hoodie with the phrase "Sara All 2022", which is often used by supporters urging her to run for president.
Observers say it is important for a loyal successor to replace Duterte and shield him from possible legal action over the killings in his war on drugs, which the International Criminal Court is looking into.