2022 Philippine Elections

Davao region delivers for Sara Duterte, standard-bearer Marcos

Bea Cupin
Davao region delivers for Sara Duterte, standard-bearer Marcos

PARTNERS. Bongbong Marcos Jr. and Sara Duterte campaign in Las Piñas City on March 13, 2022.

Lakas-CMD/Uniteam

The tandem had dominated voter preference polls in Mindanao ahead of the May 9 elections

MANILA, Philippines – With more than 98% of precincts reporting in results nationwide as of Friday, May 13, the Uniteam tandem of Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Sara Duterte are set to win in the latter’s bailiwick, Davao region. 

Both Marcos and Duterte lead the count via the transparency server, in the entire region. Even in Davao del Norte, a province that played host to Marcos’ closest rival, Vice President Leni Robredo, it’s the former who has a wide lead – more than 470,000 votes compared to Robredo’s measly 39,000 votes.

Sara is the incumbent mayor of Davao City and is chair of the Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP), a Davao-based party that’s part of the Uniteam alliance. She initially gunned for reelection but later withdrew that candidacy, left HNP, joined national party Lakas-CMD, before filing her candidacy for vice president via substitution. 

The Davao mayor, who founded HNP in 2018, rejoined the party as its chairman. She is also co-chair of Lakas-CMD, the national party that’s her vehicle for 2022. 

Their performance in the region isn’t entirely surprising. Ahead of the May 9 elections, both Marcos and Duterte led in Mindanao, with preference percentages upwards of 60% for Marcos and 80% for Duterte. 

While Davao region is considered a Duterte bailiwick, there’s at least one spot where Sara, who led efforts to dominate the area in 2019, failed. In Davao del Norte, for instance, a group led by former House speaker Pantaleon Alvarez defeated the Duterte-supported Del Rosarios and Floirendos. In the 2022 contest, Alvarez supported Vice President Leni Robredo and Senate President Tito Sotto. 

Alvarez was reelected to his post, with most of his key allies also poised to serve another term.

For the most part, HNP and the Davao City-based Hugpong sa Tawong Lungsod (HTL) are dominant in the region. HTL is a party founded by Sara Duterte’s father, the outgoing President Rodrigo Duterte. 

Two other Dutertes in Davao won their 2022 races – the President’s youngest son, Sebastian Duterte, won the mayoralty race over former Duterte ally Ruy Elias Lopez. Eldest son Paolo Duterte was reelected as Davao City 1st District representative. Among Paolo’s challengers was civic leader Mags Maglana. 

In Davao, a Duterte has headed city hall – save for one term – for over 30 years. That means an entire generation of Davaoeños have known nothing but a “Mayor Duterte” since they were born. – Rappler.com 

Bea Cupin

Bea is a senior multimedia reporter who covers national politics. She's been a journalist since 2011 and has written about Congress, the national police, and the Liberal Party for Rappler.