Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte will run for senator in next year’s election, his top aide has said, ending speculation that he would run for vice president against his own daughter.
Duterte’s closest aide, Christopher “Bong” Go, a senator who is running for the presidency, told Reuters news agency on Monday that Duterte will vie for a Senate seat in the May 2022 polls.
Go’s remarks run counter to those on Saturday by Duterte’s communications chief, who said the president would run for vice president and challenge his daughter, Sara Duterte-Carpio, a mayor who is vying for the position.
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque also ruled that possibility out earlier on Monday.
“What I can say is the father and [the] daughter, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and Mayor Inday Sara, love each other,” Roque said after filing his candidacy for senator, referring to Duterte-Carpio by her nickname.
“They will never run against each other, they will never fight each other for any position,” Roque said.
The announcement comes as Monday’s deadline neared for political parties to finalise candidates, keeping voters on edge. Candidates have until 09:00 GMT on Monday to withdraw or switch positions by way of substitution.
Duterte is not eligible to run for president again, but he can run for other posts. In the Philippines, the president and the vice president are elected in separate contests.
Duterte’s 43-year-old daughter had been expected to run to succeed him as president due to her popularity and a clear lead in all opinion polls this year on preferred candidates.
Duterte-Carpio’s decision to seek the country’s number two job came as a surprise as she had led opinion polls throughout this year.
It is not yet clear who Duterte-Carpio will run with. Shortly after her candidacy papers were filed by a representative, the political party of Ferdinand Marcos Jr, the son and namesake of the late Philippine strongman who has registered to run for president, adopted Duterte-Carpio as its vice presidential choice.