The daughter of the President of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, registered on Saturday her candidacy for the country’s vice presidency in the 2022 elections and was elected running mate of Ferdinand Marcos Jr., the son of the late Philippine dictator, an alliance that has alarmed the human rights activists.
Sara Duterte withdrew this week from the re-election race as mayor of the southern city of Davao, taking the place of a virtually unknown vice presidential candidate from her party, Lakas CMD, in a move that it will allow to aspire to the second position in the hierarchy of power despite the expiration of the term of presentation of candidacies for the elections of May 9.
Marcos Jr. presented his documentation to the Electoral Commission last month. His formation, the Federal Party ng Pilipinas, named Sara Duterte as his running mate on Saturday.
In a chaotic turn of events that reinforced speculation about the discord between the president and his daughter, Duterte Sr. unexpectedly appeared at the electoral commission on Saturday, accompanying his former collaborator, Senator Bong Go, who replaced his vice-presidential candidacy with the presidential one. . Duterte could revert to his earlier plan, which he had scrapped, if he ran for vice president, Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said. The constitution limits the president to a single six-year term. In case of resuming his plan, father and daughter would be opponents in the elections.
In the Philippines, presidents and vice presidents are elected separately and can forge alliances even if they run from different parties. If the chosen ones are of opposite ideologies, they usually maintain a hostile relationship.
Both Ferdinand Marcos, who was overthrown in 1986 by a popular pro-democracy uprising and died in exile in the United States three years later, and current President Duterte have been criticized for serious human rights violations.
Marcos declared martial law in 1972 in an era marked by widespread atrocities and economic plunder. Duterte has been condemned by Western governments and human rights groups for a brutal anti-drug campaign that has left more than 6,000 suspects dead, mostly poor, in large-scale murders that are being investigated by the International Criminal Court.
“The Marcos-Duterte tandem is the greatest threat to the democratic aspirations of the people,” said Renato Reyes of Bayan, a prominent left-wing coalition. “He has the most selfish goals: the restoration of a Marcos and the protection of the outgoing president Rodrigo Duterte.”
Neither Sara Duterte nor Marcos Jr., a former senator and provincial governor known by his nickname “Bongbong,” immediately commented.