DAVAO CITY, Philippines – Presidential son Vice Mayor Sebastian “Baste” Duterte was so overwhelmed by his landslide victory in the May 9 elections that he posted a video message to thank those who supported his quest to succeed his sister Sara as Davao City mayor.
To become mayor was Sebastian’s childhood dream – he made it clear years ago in an entry in his grade school yearbook where he said, “I want to be a city mayor.”
He thanked Dabawenyos four times in the 42-second video message he posted on his Facebook page on Wednesday, May 11, the same day he was proclaimed winner.
“Ako, pasalamat lang gyud ko kaayo. Di lalim nga in-ana kadaghan tawo nga mosalig sa imoha, nga mosuporta sa imoha (I am really thankful. It’s not easy to win the trust and support of that many people),” he said.
He promised to reciprocate, deliver on his promises, and show Davao the results so residents could judge him after three years.
Sebastian is the third member of President Rodrigo Duterte’s family to be elected mayor of Davao City, a post held by his elder sister Sara, now the presumptive vice president, until June.
The chairperson of Davao’s board of election canvassers, Sitti Shahane Balt, proclaimed the youngest son of President Duterte as the newly elected mayor of the city after he won 621,764 votes.
Sebastian’s strongest challenger, former congressman Ruy Elias Lopez, garnered 70,322 or just 11.3% of his votes.
Two other mayoral aspirants – Joseph Hannibal and Teddy Mantilla – garnered an insignificant number of votes.
Lopez expressed disbelief over the outcome of the Davao City elections.
“Personally, I was shocked. Where did we possibly go wrong when we were doing fine even during the run-up to the elections? You see, I am an experienced campaigner myself,” Lopez told Rappler on Tuesday, May 12.
Lopez, a lawyer by profession, served as one of Davao’s congressmen for three consecutive terms until 2007.
He expressed doubts about the way the automated elections were held. “Maybe we should go back to manual voting and counting. That way, you will have people closely watching the votes,” he said. – Rappler.com