Rundown: Contenders for Philippines 2022 presidential race

October 1, 2021 - 9:50 AM

The Philippines will hold an election in May 2022 to choose a successor to President Rodrigo Duterte, who is ending his single, six-year term.

Below are politicians who have declared their candidacy and others tipped as potential presidential bets.

Manny Pacquiao

Boxing icon Pacquiao, 42, has vowed to jail corrupt officials and has criticized Duterte’s close relationship with China. He has launched a campaign to provide free housing to 1.9 million poor families.

One of the greatest boxers of all time and the only man to hold world titles in eight different divisions, Pacquiao retired from boxing in September to run for the presidency. He is a two-term congressman and currently senator.

Pacquiao was until recently one of Duterte’s staunchest supporters, backing his war on drugs and efforts to restore death penalty, but their relationship has become strained.

Analysts say his presidential run could be his toughest fight yet.


Duterte-Carpio, 43, has led all opinion polls for the top job. The president’s daughter, who is also first lady, has declared a re-election bid as mayor of Davao City next year, despite growing calls for her seek the highest office.

But political analysts say she might still make a dramatic last-minute bid, as her father did in 2015.

With his daughter in charge, Duterte, 76, could be shielded from indictment by a domestic court or the International Criminal Court, which has approved a formal probe into thousands of killings in his notorious “war on drugs”.

Like her father, Duterte-Carpio is popular for her no-nonsense style and has no qualms about publicly disagreeing with him, or picking fights with his allies.


The mayor of Manila, Domagoso grew up in slums, scrapped for leftover food in restaurants and collected junk to help his parents. He has declared his intention to run.

Better known by his celebrity screen name, Isko Moreno was spotted by a talent scout while attending a funeral. He was launched into showbiz as a matinee idol, before becoming a big-screen heartthrob known for action, romance and sex scenes.

He was a city council member in 1998 and Manila’s vice-mayor for three terms, until an unsuccessful run for senator in 2016. Domagoso was elected Manila mayor in 2019, beating incumbent and deposed former President Joseph Estrada.


“Bong Go” as he is best known, is Duterte longtime and most trusted aide, widely seen as the gatekeeper to the president.

He has been assistant to Duterte since he was congressman in 1998 and accompanies the president at most public events and at the presidential palace, despite also being a senator.

Go chairs the committees on health and sports and has declined the ruling party’s presidential nomination, despite Duterte urging him to run, and is known for frequently posting “selfies” with Duterte on social media.

Duterte’s critics had suggested Go might run as his proxy, with Duterte having already agreed to run as vice president.


The first to declare his candidacy, Lacson, 73, is a senator and former police chief specializing on solving high-profile crimes. It will be his second attempt after an unsuccessful presidential bid in 2004.

In 2010, Lacson ran from authorities, days before he was formally charged as the mastermind in the murders of a publicist and his driver 20 years ago. He was a fugitive for more than a year and was eventually cleared by the Supreme Court. He was the principal sponsor of a controversial anti-terrorism law.


The son and namesake of late Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos was a former governor, congressman and senator.

Popularly known as “Bongbong”, he told businessmen early this month that he is considering a run for the presidency.

Since returning to the Philippines in 1991 from a six-year exile in Hawaii after his father’s overthrow in a “People Power” uprising, the Marcos family has been trying to rebuild its image, which was tainted by his father’s brutal 1970s martial law era and billions of dollars of plundered wealth.

Bongbong, 64, lost a bid for the vice presidency in 2016, a result he challenged.


Robredo, 56, is vice president and as leader of the opposition, she was not Duterte’s running mate and has no say in his administration.

A former human rights lawyer and widow to a former cabinet minister Robredo served as the housing minister under Duterte but quit after being excluded from cabinet meetings. After criticizing what she called “senseless killings” in his war on drugs, Duterte appointed her “drugs tsar”, but sacked her after just 18 days. —Reporting by Neil Jerome Morales; Editing by Martin Petty