2022 Philippine Elections

Sara Duterte: Lakas tried to get PDP support for Marcos-Duterte 2022 ticket

Bea Cupin
Sara Duterte: Lakas tried to get PDP support for Marcos-Duterte 2022 ticket

2022 TANDEM. This file photo shows Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte and Bongbong Marcos at the birthday party of Congresswoman Yedda Romualdez in Cebu on October 23, 2021.

Sara Duterte's Facebook page

(2nd UPDATE) The Davao City mayor confirms a Bongbong Marcos-Sara Duterte alliance for 2022

Even as she called for “unity” among supporters of the Duterte administration, vice presidential candidate and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte said that her party Lakas-CMD had tried to forge a three-way administration-backed alliance but was rejected by PDP-Laban, the ruling party headed by her father.

Ang aking partido ay nakipag-alyansa at humingi ng suporta para kay Bongbong Marcos at para sa akin matapos kong tanggapin ang inyong hamon at panawagan. Tinanggihan ito ng PDP at naiintindihan natin ito,” she said in a recorded statement released Tuesday, November 16, following the deadline of substitution via withdrawal for candidates in the 2022 elections.

(My party [Lakas-CMD] tried to forge an alliance and get support for [presidential aspirant] Bongbong Marcos and myself after I decided to run for vice president. PDP-Laban rejected this and we understand their decision.)

Sara, the eldest daughter of President Rodrigo Duterte, made the announcement as the final lineups for parties and coalitions start to become clearer.

In a statement on November 17, Senator Bong Go said he wasn’t aware about PDP-Laban turning down an offer but said he wished Sara well and that he would support her candidacy. President Duterte is backing the presidential bid of Go, his longtime aide.

Different factions?

Sara is running for vice president under Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s Lakas-CMD, which counts as its president Majority Leader Martin Romualdez, the cousin of Marcos.

Marcos, the son and namesake of the dictator, is running for president under the Partido Federal ng Pilipinas (PFP).  Sara’s statement preceded PFP’s eventual announcement that they had forged an alliance with Lakas-CMD to support the Marcos-Sara Duterte 2022 ticket. Marcos’ PFP earlier “adopted” Sara as its vice presidential candidate.

President Duterte, who is running for senator in 2022, will be doing so under a different banner – that of Pederalismo ng Dugong Dakilang Samahan (PDDS), a party that was only formed in 2018.

Go, who originally filed for vice president under PDP-Laban, switched candidacies to run for president also under PDDS. President Duterte has said that he would not support a Marcos candidacy, claiming that the son of the dictator is “pro-communist.”

Critics and analysts have described the odd situation – of the father and daughter running under different parties with ties to the administration but have different plans for 2022 – as either proof of disarray among Duterte-allied personalities or a testament to their “addiction to power.”

Duterte is the chairman of PDP-Laban even though he is a PDDS candidate. On November 17, Lakas-CMD chairman Senator Bong Revilla “offered” the party leadership role to the Davao mayor. 

Duterte drama

Drama and controversy surrounded the days leading up to the substitution via withdrawal deadline after a Palace official claimed President Duterte himself would be running for vice president.

Before chaos descended upon the Commission on Elections on the penultimate day for substitutions via withdrawal, Sara made public appearances with House Speaker Lord Allan Velasco and then Lakas-CMD officials before finally taking her oath and joining the party.

On the same day Sara joined Lakas-CMD, Go, then PDP-Laban vice presidential candidate, turned emotional in a public speech and hinted at a change in his electoral plans for 2022.

In her statement, Sara made an allusion to having made someone cry but did not go into details. “Pero gusto ko lamang na linawin – walang pangalan na sinisira o dinudungisan, walang sinasagasaan, walang inaagrabyado, inaaway, pinapaiyak o inaapi,” said the Davao City mayor without naming any person or institution in particular.

(But I want to make it clear – no names were slandered, nobody was trampled on, nobody was hassled, picked on, or made to cry.)

President Duterte would later go on to say that he had convinced Go to run for president after finding out that his daughter, who led early presidential preference surveys, would be running for vice president herself. He later claimed that the Marcos camp had made the decision for Sara to run as vice president. Lakas-CMD earlier denied allegations that its president emeritus, Arroyo, was behind the idea of Sara for vice president.

Romualdez has since said in a press statement that he is planning to nominate President Duterte to the Lakas-CMD Senate slate for 2022.

And even as Sara publicly called President Duterte’s PDP-Laban out for rejecting the unity offer, she called for “unity” among Duterte supporters in order to “continue…build on, and expand” what her father started.

Sara initially filed for reelection as Davao City mayor on October 2, the same day her father claimed he’d be retiring from politics. But critics and erstwhile allies doubted she’d only seek a local post in 2022, citing the Duterte drama orchestrated by her own father in 2015.

In the lead up to the 2016 election, the older Duterte filed for reelection as Davao City mayor only to swoop in and substitute as PDP-Laban’s standard-bearer. – Rappler.com

Bea Cupin

Bea is a journalist.