Ruling party watching next political move of presidential daughter

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PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO/KING RODRIGUEZ

A FACTION of the ruling PDP-Laban associated with President Rodrigo R. Duterte on Wednesday said it was watching developments after the president’s daughter dropped out of the mayoralty race in Davao City.

In a statement, PDP-Laban President Alfonso G. Cusi said Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio’s next move, including any decision to run for a national post would likely affect the political landscape.

There have been rumors that Ms. Carpio might run for either president or vice-president next year. Under the law, she could replace either Senator Ronald M. Dela Rosa or Senator Christopher Lawrence T. Go as the party’s candidate for president or vice-president.

She has to become a member of the party to qualify for substitution, which is allowed until mid-November.

Ms. Carpio on Tuesday said her brother, Vice Mayor Sebastian Duterte, would run for the city’s top post instead. He quit his reelection bid earlier in the day on Ms. Carpio’s advice.

The presidential daughter, who has said she would not run for a national position next year, might run in tandem with the late dictator’s son Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos, Jr., according to political analysts.

She and former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos, Jr. met in Cebu last month, fueling speculations that the two were preparing to cement their tandem for the 2022 elections.

“Let’s just all wait for what her decision would be,” Victor D. Rodriguez, Mr. Marcos’s lawyer and chief of staff, said in a statement.

Vice-President Maria Leonor “Leni” G. Robredo said a Marcos-Duterte alliance could “work to our advantage,” ABS-CBN News reported.

“The lines might be more defined,” she said in Filipino. “It can work to our advantage because it will be clearer who the rivals and allies are, and what they believe in.”

Also on Wednesday, Commission on Elections spokesman James B. Jimenez told reporters Ms. Carpio could run for a national office under her regional party.

“Hugpong ng Pagbabago is a regional party, which means they are unable to file national candidates,” he said. “If she will substitute then she will have to join a political party that already has a candidate for whatever position she wants to substitute.”

He said substitution seeks to protect political parties that might be disadvantaged by the sudden withdrawal of a candidate. But it might be time to regulate the practice, he added.

“Maybe there is room for some legislative actions to make sure that this cannot be used in a whim because the law has very laudable concerns,” Mr. Jimenez said. — Alyssa Nicole O. Tan

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