Duterte running for senator, won't face off with daughter Sara: allies

Jamaine Punzalan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 15 2021 03:05 PM | Updated as of Nov 16 2021 01:43 PM

President Rodrigo Duterte leads the flag-raising ceremony during the commemoration of the 123rd Anniversary of the martyrdom of Dr. Jose Rizal at the Rizal Park in Davao City on Dec. 30, 2019. Assisting the President is Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio. Karl Norman Alonzo, Presidential Photo/File
President Rodrigo Duterte leads the flag-raising ceremony during the commemoration of the 123rd Anniversary of the martyrdom of Dr. Jose Rizal at the Rizal Park in Davao City on Dec. 30, 2019. Assisting the President is Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio. Karl Norman Alonzo, Presidential Photo/File

MANILA (5th UPDATE) — President Rodrigo Duterte is running for senator and will not challenge his daughter Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio in the vice presidential race, three of his allies said on Monday. 

Sen. Christopher Go responded "yes" to a media question when asked if Duterte would seek a Senate seat, contrary to Communications secretary Martin Andanar's recent statement that the chief executive might run for vice president. 

The President substituted for a certain Mona Liza Visorde, said Matibag, who is secretary general of a PDP-Laban faction backed by Duterte. 

Duterte's representative Melchor Aranas filed the president's certificate of candidacy for senator. 

"The PDP Laban - PDDS Alliance is further strengthened by President Duterte’s decision to file his COC for Senator," said Matibag. 

"PDP Laban fully supports President Duterte. Him using the PDDS CONA is a strategic decision," he said in a statement, without further expounding.

It was not immediately clear whether Duterte would stay as chairman of the PDP-Laban faction. 

NO DAD, DAUGHTER MATCH 

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Harry Roque, who resigned as Duterte's spokesman earlier Monday, said the President would not face off with his daughter for any post.

"Ang masasabi ko lang po nagmamahalan po ang mag-amang Rodrigo Roa Duterte at Mayor Inday Sara, hinding-hindi po sila magbabanggaan, hinding-hindi po sila maglalabanan sa kahit anong posisyon," Roque said in a chance interview, after filing his own COC for senator. 
 
(All I can say is Rodrigo Roa Duterte and Mayor Sara love each other, they will never clash, they will not fight for whatever position.)

Duterte-Carpio over the weekend registered as a substitute candidate for vice president. The camp of presidential aspirant Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos, Jr's said it was adopting her as his running mate. 

But Duterte questioned his eldest daughter's bid for the No. 2 job, given her lead in opinion polls for the presidency. He described Duterte-Carpio's move as a decision of the Marcos group. 

Duterte said he was not supporting the presidential bid of Marcos, or of Sen. Manny Pacquiao and the rest, as he committed to back only Go, citing the latter's "honesty."

PDP-Laban's Matibag did not immediately reply on whether or not Duterte-Carpio would be adopted as Go's running mate. 

The 76-year-old Duterte is barred by the Constitution from seeking a second term as President. 

There is "no express prohibition" for him to seek a different post and "therefore, it is allowed," Roque, a lawyer, earlier said. 

In September, Duterte accepted his nomination as vice presidential candidate of one of 2 rival factions of PDP-Laban. 

A framer of the 1987 Constitution said Duterte's bid for the country's second highest office is against the intent of the charter as it allows him to stay in power for more than 6 years. 

Duterte later said he was retiring from politics when he steps down in 2022. 

His former aide Go ran for vice president in his stead. But over the weekend, Go registered as a substitute candidate for president with Duterte's backing. 

Go said Duterte-Carpio was not responsible for convincing Duterte to seek a Senate seat. He said the President only considered possible legal challenges should he vie for the No. 2 job.

"Sa pagkaalam ko po ay hindi sila nagkakausap nitong mga nakaraang araw, at desisyon po iyon ni Pangulong Duterte na tumakbo bilang senador, dahil nabanggit na rin niya noon na mayroon pong nagkukwestiyon sa pagtakbo niya bilang vice president," Go said in a phone interview with ABS-CBN News. 

(From what I know, they have not talked these past days, and it was President Duterte's decision to run for senator because he mentioned that some are questioning his run as vice president.)

Analysts say it is crucial for Duterte to have a loyal successor in 2022 to shield him from possible legal cases, including those against his war on drugs, which the international Criminal Court is investigating. 

In 2016, Duterte also made a late entry to the presidential race as a substitute candidate.

— With reports from Joyce Balancio and Jauhn Etienne Villaruel, ABS-CBN News