President Rodrigo Duterte expressed his displeasure Sunday at the news that his daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio would run for vice president next year, saying this was the doing of former senator and presidential aspirant Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.
In an interview streamed over YouTube with a pro-Duterte blogger, the President also said he would support only his long-time aide, Senator Christopher Go, for the presidency, and would announce soon why he will not back Marcos or boxing champ-turned Senator Manny Pacquiao.
Duterte's interview with blogger Byron Cristobal came after Go withdrew his candidacy for vice president at the Commission on Elections (Comelec) office in Intramuros, Manila, on Saturday, and instead filed a certificate of candidacy to run for president in next year's elections.
“I’m just asking for a few hours,” Duterte said in Filipino. “The people will know who’s doing the manipulating. That’s not me,” he said. “I’m just asking for a few more hours and I can tell the truth.
In the campaign I will tell you why I can’t support Marcos. The same goes for Pacquiao and the others.”
“I never said that I will support anyone–Marcos or Pacquiao,” he continued. “They’re nothing. I just talk to them out of respect and because they wanted to talk to me.”
He said he did not blame his daughter because they were not talking to each other.
“I do not approve of their decision to have Sara run. I am sure Bongbong decided for her,” he said.
Duterte said the only thing he is sure of is that his daughter asked for two COCs from Lakas-CMD – one for president and one for vice president—but he did not know which one she would choose.
On Saturday, Duterte-Carpio filed a COC under the Lakas-CMD party as a substitute for its vice presidential candidate for 2022, who withdrew from the race.
Duterte said he was puzzled by his daughter's moves.
“I'm wondering…. She's number 1 in the surveys, so why did she agree to run only for vice president,” Duterte said.
While Duterte's Communications Secretary Martin Andanar had said the President would run for vice president against his own daughter next year, Duterte said he would make an announcement “in a matter of hours.”
“I will make an announcement,” he said when asked about reports that he would be Go's running mate. “Maybe I'll make an announcement to let people know that I do not like what is happening.”
In a video posted on her Facebook account, Duterte-Carpio said her decision to run for vice president was to meet her supporters—who wanted her to run for president—halfway.
"I have thousands of supporters who cried last Oct. 8 [during the deadline for the filing of COC] and I cannot find it in my heart to make them cry again on Nov.15. After the deadline, the offer to run for vice president became an opportunity to meet you halfway," she said.
On Nov. 9, Duterte withdrew her COC for mayor, and her younger brother, Vice Mayor Sebastian Duterte, took her place.
The mayor’s VP candidacy under Lakas-CMD (Christian Muslim Democrats) was filed by a representative on Saturday, quickly followed by the announcement of the Partido Federal ng Pilipinas that they are adopting Duterte-Carpio as Marcos's running mate.
Running for the No. 2 position, the mayor said, is a path that would allow her to heed her supporters’ call to serve the country and make her a stronger person and public servant.
"I am here to answer your call. I appeal to all supporters to stay calm. Let us be circumspect and stay the course," she added.
She said she did not want to get involved in the problems besetting the ruling party, Partido Demokratiko Pilipino–Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban).
"The problems of PDP are their own. Let them resolve their issues within their party," she said.
"This is all politics and this will not matter in the years to come or even now when we need to focus on our country’s recovery and the people's welfare," she added.
Also on Sunday, Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi, who leads one faction of the PDP-Laban, asked his party mates to "toe the party line and remain steadfast" after the party's presidential candidate, Senator Ronald dela Rosa, withdrew from the race.
"We assure you that nothing has changed, our objective remains the same–victory in the coming national and local elections," Cusi said in an open letter to PDP Laban members.
He said the President, who is party chairman, would lead the PDP-Laban campaign next year.