Sara Duterte

Sara Duterte withdraws candidacy for Davao City mayor

Bea Cupin

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Sara Duterte withdraws candidacy for Davao City mayor

DAVAO CITY CHIEF. Mayor Sara Duterte at the Comelec office in Davao City on November 9, 2021.

Official Facebook page of Mayor Inday Sara Duterte

(1st UPDATE) Davao City Vice Mayor Sebastian Duterte, who earlier withdrew his reelection bid, will be running for mayor
Sara Duterte withdraws candidacy for Davao City mayor

Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte confirmed on Tuesday, November 9, that she has officially withdrawn her bid for reelection.

The mayor made the announcement in a post on her official Facebook page on Tuesday.

“Ngayong hapon wini-withdraw ko ang aking kandidatura sa pagka-mayor ng Davao City. Si VM Baste ang papalit sa akin. Ito lamang po muna. Maraming salamat po,” she said.

(This afternoon, I withdrew my candidacy for mayor of Davao City. Vice Mayor Baste will substitute for me. This is all for now. Thank you very much.)

Her younger brother, Vice Mayor Sebastian Duterte withdrew his reelection bid, and will be gunning for the city’s top post instead as her sister’s substitute bet.

Sara personally filed her withdrawal before the Commission on Elections office in Davao City. 

Melchor Quitain Jr., who substituted Sebastian as vice mayoralty candidate in Davao City, told reporters in Davao City that the events of November 9 were “not expected.” He only found out that he’d be running for vice mayor instead “very recently.” 

The Duterte siblings’ withdrawal of their candidacies, while “not expected” by even their allies, isn’t entirely surprising. Speculation had been rife that Sara, who led early presidential preference surveys, would still be gunning for a national post even after saying repeatedly that she would be gunning for reelection. 

She has met two presidential candidates in recent weeks: Bongbong Marcos Jr, who still has no running mate; and Senator Ronald dela Rosa, a long-time Duterte ally and standard-bearer of the PDP-Laban faction of Energy Secretary Afonso Cusi that is backed by President Rodrigo Duterte.

Dela Rosa himself has been pushing for Sara to run for president instead and has expressed, repeatedly, his willingness to slide down should Sara change her mind and run for president.

It’s unclear which position Sara would be gunning for in 2022. Neither Sara nor her spokesperson, Liloan Mayor Christina Frasco, have made statements following her withdrawal as a mayoralty candidate. 

President Duterte, too, filed his certificate of candidacy for reelection as Davao City mayor in October 2015, and even announced that he would not run for president. Over a month later, he withdrew his mayoral bid and filed his COC for president.

Sara had earlier blasted as “wild conjectures, lies, intrigues, and chismis (rumors)” a column written by Ramon Tulfo that speculated that she may run as Bongbong Marcos’ running mate to upset vice presidential aspirant Senator Bong Go. –

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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.