Duterte baffled by Sara’s decision to run for VP | Inquirer News
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Duterte baffled by Sara’s decision to run for VP

By: - Reporter / @JeromeAningINQ
/ 05:03 AM November 15, 2021
President Rodrigo Duterte Bayan Muna

President Rodrigo Duterte. FILE photo / MALACAÑANG PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte and his daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, separately took to social media on Sunday to explain the political decisions they had made in the last 24 hours — his urging of former aide and now Sen. Christopher “Bong” Go to run for president instead of vice president and her choice to run for vice president.

Partido Federal ng Pilipinas, whose standard-bearer is former Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., has issued a resolution adopting Mayor Duterte as its vice presidential candidate.

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In an interview with vlogger and supporter Banat By, the President said that as a concession to him, Go had agreed to withdraw his vice presidential candidacy in favor of Sara. However, Mr. Duterte said he “did not like” his daughter’s decision to run for vice president, adding, “I’m wondering why [since] she is No. 1 in the surveys, and [yet] she consented to run only for vice president. She is the one with the highest ratings.”

While accompanying Go to the Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Saturday, the President told reporters that he would file a certificate of candidacy (COC) for vice president as Go’s running mate. But in Sunday’s interview, he demurred and said he would soon make a final decision on the matter.

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“In a matter of hours, you will know. I will make an announcement. Maybe. [I want] to tell the people that I did not like what happened,” he said.

Mr. Duterte clarified that he had yet to speak to Sara about her decision which he believed was apparently made jointly with Marcos.

Trickery involved

Although he did not elaborate, the President claimed there was some “trickery” involved and that Go had wept about it when they spoke on Saturday.

“He was crying. I told him not to cry. I said, ‘Why are you crying? The presidency is open, why not run? Why cry just because my daughter suddenly joined [the vice presidential race]?” he said.

“Not once you have heard me saying I will support Marcos. I never said who I will support, whether it’s Marcos or [Sen. Manny] Pacquiao,” he added.

Mr. Duterte went with Go to the Comelec when the latter withdrew his COC for vice president and filed a new one for president under the Pederalismo ng Dugong Dakilang Samahan Party in place of Sen. Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa, the standard-bearer of the ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban), which is split into two factions.

The President also denied that people around him such as Go were manipulating him and keeping him in the dark about political developments. The allegation came after he said at the Comelec that he did not know Sara had filed her COC for vice president.

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“What a pity if I’m being dictated by a companion at work. I’m the one dictating on him, not [the other way around]. I’m the one, maybe, who is telling him what to do—what’s next, as they say. I give guidance to him,” Mr. Duterte said, referring to Go.

“I would not have become President if I were manipulated. I’m not a fool,” he added.

The President said he knew all along about his daughter’s COC filing because it was the reason Go backed out of the vice presidential race.

“We’ll see, just give me a few hours and we will know who was manipulated…. Give me time. Within a few hours, everything will be revealed,” he said.

Concession to supporters

For her part, Sara said that her decision to seek the vice presidency was also a concession to her supporters who were disappointed by her plan not to seek the country’s highest post.

“Thousands of my supporters cried on Oct. 8 and I cannot find it in my heart to make them cry again on Nov. 15,” she said, referring to the deadlines for the filing of COCs and the substitution of candidates, respectively. She had earlier announced that she would run for reelection as Davao City mayor.

Due to the change in her political plans, her brother, Vice Mayor Sebastian Duterte, will run in her stead.

“To run as vice president is an opportunity to meet you halfway,” said Sara who appeared in a video on her Facebook page. “(The vice presidential run) is a path that would allow me to heed your call to serve our country and make me a stronger person and public servant in the years that lie ahead.”

She told viewers that she would not meddle in the “ongoing chaos” at her father’s political party, saying their problem was “their own.” “Let them resolve the issues within their party,” she said.

According to her, “this is all politics and this will not matter in the years to come and even now when we need to focus on this country’s recovery and the people’s welfare.”

She urged everyone to be “circumspect and stay the course and focus on forging relationships and to unite for the good of our country.”

—WITH A REPORT FROM CARMELITO Q. FRANCISCO 
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TAGS: #VotePH2022, 2022 presidential race, Rodrigo Duterte, Sara Duterte
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