MANILA (UPDATE) - Davao City Vice Mayor Sebastian "Baste" Duterte has withdrawn his candidacy for reelection in next year's polls, as instructed by his sister, Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, he said Tuesday.
"I have filed my withdrawal as Vice Mayor candidate of Davao City. I hereby nominate Atty. Melchor Quitain Jr. as my substitute," Baste, the youngest son of President Rodrigo Duterte, said in a statement.
He later registered his candidacy for city mayor after Duterte-Carpio also withdrew her reelection bid. Substitution of candidates for the May 9, 2022 elections is allowed until Nov. 15.
Quitain, an incumbent councilor for the city's 1st District, initially disclosed Baste's withdrawal from the vice mayoralty race thru PTV Davao earlier in the day. He said Baste went to the Comelec Davao office on Tuesday morning to withdraw the certificate of candidacy he filed last Oct. 3.
ABS-CBN News Davao obtained an audio clip of the vice mayor's brief interview with Mindanao Times regarding his decision, wherein he said he was following the instructions of his sister.
"That's her instruction to me, then I am waiting for further instructions. So for now, that is the only information I have because that is what they have instructed me to do as of now," Baste said in the interview, speaking in the local language.
He added he does not know yet about his plans for the 2022 national elections.
"But I guess, whatever this is, let's hope and let's be positive that Sara's decision that I withdraw is good, and that something good might come out of it," he said.
"In order for the parties to function properly, I have to follow orders, so that's why if Mayor Inday orders me to do something, I will just follow so that the machinery will function."
In his official statement released after Quitain announced the development, Baste said he has "no other details to share at the moment" as he thanked "the Dabawenyos for the support" they gave him.
Baste is the lone vice mayoral candidate in Davao City for the upcoming elections.
Quitain said he accepted the nomination to be Baste's replacement as candidate for vice mayor.
"I have withdrawn my candidacy as 1st District City Councilor and have accepted the nomination of Vice Mayor Sebastian Z. Duterte as candidate for Vice Mayor of Davao City," he said in a statement posted on his Facebook account past 5 p.m.
Baste started his foray into politics when he ran for the position in 2019.
Sara was seeking reelection as Davao City mayor until her withdrawal Tuesday afternoon for still unknown reasons as of posting time, while their brother, Paolo, is also eyeing another term as the city's first district representative in the House.
The official campaign period for local position candidates for the May 9, 2022 elections will begin on March 25, 2022.
- report from Hernel Tocmo
FROM THE ARCHIVES