Sara Susanne Fabunan and Joel E. Zurbano
DAVAO CITY—Two days after Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte announced his final decision not to run for President, his daughter, former Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio and supporters shaved their heads in an apparent move to persuade him to reconsider a run for the top elective post.
Inday Sara, as she is known, on Wednesday posted a photo of her with a shaven head on Instagram, with some hashtags disproving earlier notions that she was against her father’s presidential bid.
“I have shaven while waiting,” she said, referring to a last-ditch effort by Duterte supporters to get him to run.
Sara added that even without money or machinery, her father was being supported by the likes of Senators Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Alan Peter Cayetano, both of whom are running for vice president.
Duterte’s executive assistant, Lawrence Go, filed a certificate of candidacy in Davao on his behalf Thursday for reelection as city mayor, but a Comelec official in Manila said he can still file another COC today (Friday).
“Our basic rule is, if you file a certificate of candidacy, you can withdraw it and file another one, as long as it is within the filing period,” Comelec spokesman James Jimenez said.
In his earlier remarks, Duterte said he would not run for President because his daughter was opposed it. On Monday, he apologized to his supporters.
Go, city legislative council members Louie Al Ryan Alejandre and Danilo Dayanghirang also shaved their heads to convince Duterte.
In his Facebook account, Go said his head shaving option was a show of “getting ready for the filing [of candidacy for President] of my boss,” adding he and other supporters were “hoping for miracles.”
Councilor Alejandre said they are inspired by Sara’s move to get Duterte to change his mind.
The outspoken Davao mayor has until Friday to file his candidacy for President.
Supporters expressed disappointment that the 70-year-old mayor would not run for President, but some still held out hope he would change his mind.
“I think this is just a political strategy for a last-minute filing of COC—who knows?” said Juanita Gatmaitan, a mother of two and resident of Tondo, Manila.
Evan Romulo, a Makati-based employee, said: “Goodbye Philippines. Duterte is not running.”
Other supporters followed Duterte’s daughter Sara who shaved head to show support for calls for her father to run for President.
A huge crowd bearing tarpaulins and streamers bearing “Duterte 2016” also gathered outside the Commission on Elections main office in Intramuros, Manila in support of his candidacy.
There was speculation that Duterte would fly into Manila in a last-minute effort to file his COC for President.
But Duterte himself repeatedly denied he was running for President despite high ratings in surveys in the presidential race. He said earlier he would rather retire from politics at the end of his term in 2016 or seek reelection.
In a press conference last Monday, Duterte apologized to his supporters.
“I believe my destiny is to end years and years of public life in the service of Davao City and every Davaoeño. Thus, if Inday Sara agrees to run for mayor, I will retire at the end of my term in 2016. If she does not, the option to run again for mayor is on the table,” said Duterte.
“There was no ambition for me to aspire for the presidency. The country does not need me and I find no need for it. I guess it is fate that wills that our long journey together should end this way.”