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Picking her moment

For them, Duterte-Carpio’s ship has not gone far and can always return to berth to pick her up.



If there’s a script being followed as it is claimed by some of her rivals, then it is no doubt effective as Sara Duterte-Carpio’s watchers remain on the edge of their seats, waiting for her decision whether to seek the presidency in 2022.

Duterte-Carpio, however, is insisting that there won’t be a repeat of her father’s story in 2016 when he substituted for a seat warmer on his way to winning the presidency.

The elder Duterte broke norms but not laws when he did it. Now, placeholders are as normal as the circus that comes to town more often than change does.

Political parties no longer just put seat warmers in the presidential or vice-presidential slots; even politicians hedging on their Senate or House chances are fielding in placeholders unless they miss the bus completely.

Not for Duterte-Carpio, though. She said she had “missed (her) ship,” or did she?

That’s what Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia claimed Duterte-Carpio had told her — that the Davao City Mayor should have long filed her candidacy for president had she wanted to. Besides, the President’s daughter has been leading all the surveys prior to the filing of the Certificates of Candidacy that ended on 8 October 2021.

She chose to file for a chance at earning a third and final term as Davao City mayor, instead. Again, the similarity with her father was there. Then City Mayor Rodrigo even teased of retiring from politics, instead — but look where he has come.

Duterte-Carpio was everyone’s president then.

Ferdinand Marcos Jr. saw her as his stepping stone to Malacañang by offering to become her vice president. Now, he is forced to run and stake everything without Duterte-Carpio. All she can give him now is a promise of support, that is if she won’t decide at the last minute to challenge him.

Who else did?

Gibo Teodoro and Senators Sherwin Gatchalian and Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go have admitted to having asked to be chosen by the President’s daughter.

Even the ousted House speaker Alan Peter Cayetano had initiated with President Duterte that he would have made a good vice-presidential partner with the Davao City leader.

Certain sectors had wanted either House Majority Leader Martin Romualdez or Senator Sonny Angara as Duterte-Carpio’s VP.

Even President Duterte had said he wanted his daughter to run, a reason perhaps for his decision to no longer seek the vice-presidency.

Now, PDP Laban presidential bet Senator Ronald “Bato” de la Rosa has reminded Duterte-Carpio that he is willing to give way until 15th November for her to run.

Important members of the President’s Cabinet are also waiting for her decision, their bids and chances all resting on her.

Presidential legal counsel Salvador Panelo believes Duterte-Carpio has an obligation to fulfill and her supporters are waiting.

For them, Duterte-Carpio’s ship has not gone far and can always return to berth to pick her up. These calls will not die until she stays put at the half of next month.