Contrary to speculations, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio will not run for president in next year’s elections as a substitute candidate for neither PDP Laban nor Lakas-CMD, senatorial aspirant and former Defense Secretary Gilbert “Gibo” Teodoro Jr. said on Monday.
The former Cabinet official believed that it is “unlikely” for the daughter of President Rodrigo Duterte to run for president in the 2022 polls as a substitute candidate even up to the last minute of the substitution period deadline on 15 November.
In the first place, Teodoro stressed, Duterte-Carpio did not make any commitment that she would seek the presidency next year.
“The several announcements (that she will not run), I believe, from the start. From the first announcement when she said she wasn’t interested and the most-telling statement is that she wanted to run remain free and independent, a feeling which actually resonates with me, too,” said Teodoro.
In June, Teodoro flew to Davao City to meet Duterte-Carpio and even got inoculated at a local vaccination center there.
He returned to the city a month after to receive his second dose. His visits had formed speculations that he and Duterte-Carpio will be running mates for the 2022 elections.
Such rumors even gained more public attention when their common friend, former Camarines Sur Rep. Rolando Andaya, insisted that Duterte-Carpio will run for president in 2022.
Andaya repeatedly claimed that it’s already a “done deal” for Duterte-Carpio, claiming that the local chief executive already made up her mind to run for president in 2022.
For Teodoro, Andaya could have been just “too excited” when he made such statements.
While Teodoro was candid about vying for the vice presidency, Duterte-Carpio had kept mum on her plans for the upcoming polls until she filed her certificate of candidacy (CoC) for reelection last 2 October.
He explained that the vice-presidential role would have been an ideal platform for him to advocate the “Bagong Pilipinas para sa Bagong Henerasyon.”
“My experience in the private sector, as the one who views the part of the institution, have a second look at things and view things in a macro-setting, that’s how a vice president should really be beneficial to the administration or the president, to give positive inputs as independent basis as you see things,” added Teodoro.
“The vice-presidential role would have been perfect, and I can go around the country to ask the questions how the future should look like for them,” he added.
Teodoro admitted that Duterte-Carpio’s filing of CoC for mayor had prompted him to shift gears and opted to file his CoC for senator.
“But the condition that we are waiting for Mayor Sara to file for president did not happen, so I decided to file a CoC for senator,” he said.
He said he decided to seek a seat in the Senate upon consultations with his advisers, friends, supporters, and family.
Duterte-Carpio did not also inform him about her decision, he recalled.
“All the time that we talked, we were trying to shy away from the issue of elections. We talked about recovery from Covid-19, economic opening, the complexities of running major commercial areas like Davao, and…we did not talk about any elective position whatsoever,” Teodoro said.
Because of this, Teodoro said he is “concentrating” on his Senate bid and no longer expects Duterte-Carpio to change her mind.
“Right now, that’s a decision for her to make. Obviously, a lot of people are hoping (that she would run). However, I have filed my CoC for senator, and for me, I will concentrate on that,” he said.
Only a “very, very good reason” would change Duterte-Carpio’s mind on running for president, he supposed.
As for him, considering that he will be competing against more popular names, he will be focusing on his “own situation.”
He admitted that the country’s electoral system is primarily a contest for personalities.
“It’s really the personality comes a lot in the local politics. Hopefully, this can be overcome by the networks and relationships I developed throughout the years particularly with local leaders and other politicians, and social media has a very great impact,” he said.
Teodoro served as secretary of the Department of National Defense from 2007 to 2009 during President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s administration.
He was also a former congressman representing Tarlac province from 1998 to 2007.
In 2010, Teodoro ran for president but lost to his second cousin then-Senator Noynoy Aquino.