Sara Duterte withdraws reelection bid

Pre-campaign billboards showing support for potential Duterte-allied candidates flank major thoroughfare EDSA as seen on Monday, November 8. photo by Boy Santos

DAVAO City Mayor Sara Duterte has officially withdrawn her bid for reelection just days ahead of the deadline for the substitution of candidates for the 2022 elections.

In a post on her official Facebook page, the mayor announced that she will be replaced by her brother, Davao City vice mayor Sebastian “Baste” Duterte, in the mayoralty race.

“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 sa ngayon. Maraming salamat po (This afternoon, I’m withdrawing my candidacy for mayor of Davao City. Vice Mayor Baste will substitute for me. This is all for now. Thank you very much),” Duterte said on Tuesday, November 9.

Earlier that day, Sebastian also withdrew his certificate of candidacy (COC) for reelection as Davao City’s vice mayor.

According to him, Atty. Melchor Quitain Jr. will replace him in the vice mayoralty race.

“I have filed my withdrawal as vice mayor candidate of Davao City. I hereby nominate Atty. Melchor Quitain Jr. as my substitute,” said Sebastian.

“I am deeply grateful to the Dabawenyos for the support they have given me all this time. I have no other details to share at the moment. Thank you,” he added.

Duterte’s move raised speculations that she might pursue a national post after months of consistently denying that she won’t.

In the event that this happens, however, she can’t run under her regional party Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP).

“Why is that? Because HNP is a regional party, which means they are unable to file national candidates,” noted poll body spokesperson James Jimenez.

He added, “She is going to substitute, then she will have to join a political party that already has a candidate for whatever position she wants to substitute.”

The COC filing ran from October 1-8 but candidate substitution will be accepted until Nov. 15. As per the Commission on Elections’ rules, substitution is accepted if a candidate dies, withdraws, or is disqualified by the poll body. n

Ritchel Mendiola

Ritchel Mendiola is a staff writer and reporter for the Asian Journal. You can reach her at [email protected].

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