MANILA — The daughter of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday removed herself from the running for mayor of Davao City, just days away from a deadline to change candidates for a presidential election next year.
Sara Duterte-Carpio, who has been widely tipped to run to succeed her father, did not say why she was withdrawing from the mayor contest, but told supporters on Facebook that further announcements would be made later.
The 43-year-old has come top in opinion polls throughout this year on preferred candidates for president, but has said she does not want that job.
The Philippines holds elections in May 2022 for positions from the level of president down to governors, mayors and local officials. The window for changing candidates expires on Nov. 15.
“This afternoon I am withdrawing my candidacy for mayor of Davao City,” she said, announcing her brother Sebastian, her vice mayor, will run instead.
Duterte-Carpio has repeatedly said was not interested in running for president, but recently expressed willingness to forge an alliance with another presidential candidate, Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr, the controversial son and namesake of the late dictator who was overthrown in 1986.
Marcos’ supporters have urged Duterte-Carpio to be his running mate. The Marcos family has for decades been among the Philippines‘ most powerful political families.
President Duterte, 76, is unable to seek a second term in office, which is forbidden under the constitution, and says he plans to retire.
His daughter is hugely popular and the family enjoys considerable political clout in the south of the country, having run Davao for more about three decades.
Other candidates for the presidency include senator and retired boxing icon Manny Pacquiao, former actor and Manila mayor Francisco Domagoso, incumbent Vice President Leni Robredo, Senator Panfilo Lacson, and Marcos.
—Reporting by Enrico dela Cruz; Editing by Martin Petty