Key contenders for Philippines 2022 election

November 15, 2021 - 12:20 PM
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From left to right: Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, Christopher Go, Ferdinand Marcos Jr., Francisco Domagoso, Panfilo Lacson, Manny Pacquiao and Leni Robredo. (Photos from official Facebook pages of presidential aspirants)

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, and a vice president.

Dozens of individuals have filed to run for president and vice president, which are elected separately. They have until Monday to withdraw or register for a new position.

Below are key candidates for president or vice president:

Sara Duterte-Carpio

Duterte-Carpio, 43, mayor of Davao, had been expected to run to succeed her father, President Rodrigo Duterte. Instead, she registered on Saturday to run for vice president.

READ: Sara Duterte files candidacy for VP —Comelec

The president’s daughter, who is also first lady, is like him, popular for a no-nonsense style. She has no qualms about publicly disagreeing with him or picking fights with his allies.

It is not clear who she is running with.

Sen. Christopher “Bong” Go

“Bong Go”, as he is known, is Duterte’s 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. He frequently posts selfies with Duterte on social media.

Go, who chairs the Senate the committees on health and sports, registered on Saturday to run for president, withdrawing his candidacy for the vice presidency.

Duterte’s critics had suggested Go would run as his proxy, with Duterte planning to vie for the No. 2 post.

READ: Duterte’s long-time aide Go files candidacy for presidency

Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.

Namesake of the late dictator, Marcos is a former governor, congressman and senator. He proposed a “unifying” brand of leadership after filing his candidacy for the presidency in October.

READ: Marcos Jr confirms run for 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 sought to rebuild ts image, which was tainted by his father’s brutal 1970s martial law rule and billions of dollars of plundered wealth.

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

Marcos has said he wants Duterte-Carpio as his running mate.

Manny Pacquiao

One of the world’s greatest boxers, 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.

The only man to hold world titles in eight different divisions, Pacquiao retired from boxing in September to run for president. He is a senator who served two terms as congressman.

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

His presidential run could be his toughest fight yet. His running mate is deputy house speaker Lito Atienza.

Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso 

The mayor of Manila and former movie heartthrob, 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 for president.

READ: Manila mayor files candidacy for presidency

Better known by his screen name Isko Moreno, 46-year-old Domagoso was spotted by a talent scout while attending a funeral. He became a matinee idol, known for action, romance and sex scenes.

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

Panfilo Lacson

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

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

Leni Robredo

Vice President Robredo, 56, is the leader of the opposition and has no say in Duterte’s administration.

A former human rights lawyer and widow to a former cabinet minister, Robredo served as Duterte’s housing minister but quit after being excluded from cabinet meetings. After criticising what she called “senseless killings” in his war on drugs, she was appointed Duterte’s “drugs tsar”, but he sacked her after just 18 days.

READ: Robredo to run for president in 2022

—Reporting by Neil Jerome Morales and Karen Lema; Editing by Martin Petty and William Mallard