Davao City Mayor and presidential daughter Sara Duterte-Carpio asked her father, President Rodrigo Duterte, and the president’s personal aide, Senator Christopher “Bong” Go, to declare publicly their decision to run as a tandem in next year’s elections.
Sara said her father confided to her the decision to run for Vice President while Sen. Go will vie for President.
“If they can confirm it privately, then I do not see the reason why they cannot be candid about it to the public,” the mayor said.
Sara added she does not want to be a “political punching bag for a party in complete disarray.”
She insisted she is not a “last-two-minutes” person, referring how she could be made a last-minute substitute as presidential candidate, something her father did in 2016.
After the President personally conveyed to Sarah his decision to run as vice president with Go running for president, she said the two options presented to her were “unpleasant”.
“I was left with two letters endorsed to me by the President for consideration—one note explained why I should endorse the Go-Duterte tandem, and the other suggested that I take Senator Go as my vice president,” she said.
Go, an aide of the President for more than 20 years, insisted he was not interested in running for president.
The Davao mayor issued a statement after her father said he would not run as vice president if Sarah runs for president.
But in the same speech, Duterte said he would run for vice president, which confirmed an earlier announcement by the Cusi faction of PDP-Laban.
“I will run for vice president,” Duterte said. “I will continue the crusade. I’m worried about the drugs, insurgency — well, number one is insurgency, then criminality, drugs. I may not have the power to give direction or guidance, but I can always express my views in public.”
The pro-Pacquiao faction in the PDP-Laban said a Go-Duterte ticket was a “smokescreen” to protect Duterte’s daughter, Sara — who is widely expected to run for the presidency – from political attacks.
The Supreme Court earlier ruled that the incumbent president enjoyed legal immunity. But there is debate over whether such protection could extend to the vice president.
If either Sara Duterte or Go were to win, they could shield Duterte from criminal charges.
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said the President and Go would withdraw from the race if Sara runs for the top post.