By Xave Gregorio
Despite ranking high in pre-election senatorial surveys, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio would just be gunning for re-election as the southern city’s chief executive.
Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP) Secretary General Anthony del Rosario said Duterte-Carpio would not run for senator and would only be eyeing another term as Davao City mayor.
“We’ve talked about this several times, definitely po she’s not running for the Senate, ang sinasabi niya, hindi niya pa kayang iwan ang Davao,” Del Rosario said Monday (August 13) during HNP’s signing of alliance agreements with nine local and national parties.
“Ang sinasabi niya hindi niya pa gusto iwanan ang Davao City kasi marami pa siya gusto gawin na ‘di niya pa nagagawa,” he said.
Duterte-Carpio has been figuring in the winners’ circle in pre-election polls, with President Rodrigo Duterte’s daughter landing between the third and fifth place in the latest Pulse Asia survey conducted last June 15 to 21.
She has repeatedly denied that she would be running for a seat in the upper chamber of Congress, but has once warned Senator Antonio Trillanes IV to “leave her alone” and her “slot will be available for a yellow Senator for the 2019 elections.”
Citing insider sources and his own “analysis,” Trillanes previously claimed that President Duterte’s “Option C” to stay in power is to field his daughter in the 2019 polls for senator, so she could run for the presidency in 2022.
However, Del Rosario said he and Duterte-Carpio have not yet talked about her political plans for the next presidential elections.
Even with her adamant denials, the Davao City mayor is proving to be a key player in national politics, having been instrumental in the ouster of Davao del Norte 1st District Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez as Speaker and with her regional party HNP building alliances with other local and national parties, including the Nacionalista Party of former Senator Manny Villar.
Aside from Nacionalista, HNP also inked deals with the Nationalist People’s Coalition, the National Unity Party, the Alyansa Bol-anon Alang sa Kausuban, the Aggrupation of Party for Progress, Ilocano Timpuyog, Kambilan, PaDayon Pilipino and the Serbisyo sa Bayan party.
In a speech after the political parties signed agreements with her HNP, Duterte-Carpio once again denied that she is running for senator.
“We are just really trying to unite everybody who wants to help the administration of President Duterte until 2022,” she said.