Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte will not be a substitute for Senator Ronald dela Rosa in the 2022 presidential contest, according to information Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque has so far gathered.
Despite mounting calls to succeed her father, Duterte is firm in her reelection bid for the third and final time, Roque said in a text message on Friday.
“She said there will be no substitution,” Roque replied when pressed about his plan in case Duterte replaces dela Rosa as the standard bearer of the ruling party, Partido Demokratiko Pilipino–Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban).
Roque himself abandoned his senatorial ambition as he said he will only run if Duterte will join the presidential race.
Political parties can replace their candidates for the May 9, 2022 elections until November 15.
Duterte’s supporters gathered at the Cultural Center of the Philippines Complex on Friday, hoping she will beat the deadline for the filing of certificates of candidacy (COCs) at the Sofitel Philippine Plaza’s Harbor Garden Tent.
In a statement issued Friday, she said while she is “honored with the gift of trust and respect” of many Filipinos, she has decided to stay in Davao City.
“Thank you to everyone who have expressed their support. Many of you do not know me and yet, you carry me over your shoulders,” she posted on her Facebook account.
On October 2 after Senator Christopher “Bong” Go filed his COC for vice president, President Rodrigo Duterte told reports in an ambush interview that his daughter will team up with Go.
The younger Duterte never acknowledged the President’s statement.
Dela Rosa, after filing his COC on Friday, said he was not aware if PDP-Labas officials are talking to the Davao mayor.
“That would be good. But this is a party decision. This is not my personal decision,” he said of the possibility of the presidential daughter replacing him.
On Saturday, the mayor continued to post photos of her supporters.
“My continued gratitude to all of you. I am with you in our love for the Philippines. God bless us all,” she said in a post partly in Filipino.