By Gaspar Ruiz-Canela
Bangkok, Sep 3 (EFE).- Controversial Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and his daughter Sara are keeping the country in suspense about whether they’ll run together in May’s elections, although analysts suggest there will be some kind of agreement between the two and polls already see them as favorites.
Philippine law does not allow presidents to stand for re-election, so Duterte has announced he will run for vice president while his daughter Sara, mayor of Davao, has not yet announced whether she will contest the presidency.
“Nothing is certain. But you can foresee that there will be some kind of agreement between Sara Duterte and Rodrigo Duterte if they both run for the highest body of power,” Enrico Gloria, international relations professor at the University of the Philippines, told EFE.
Gloria said Sara is known for “having her own political agenda independent of her father, but not so different that she goes against the spirit of her father’s priorities.”
Gloria also believes Rodrigo Duterte will seek some kind of protection against possible lawsuits for his war on drugs, although the vice presidency does not grant him the immunity he enjoys as head of state.
“I would say being vice president would give you some special immunity if a close candidate (for example, Sara) wins the presidency (…),” Enrico said.
The expert said Duterte as vice president, with an allied president, could increase his control over the country’s institutions and would damage the capacity of any opposition movement.
“I will run for vice president. I am worried about drugs, insurgents. Well, first insurgents, then crime, drugs,” Duterte said last week, confirming his candidacy under his formation, the Philippine Democratic Party-Power of the Town.
From Davao, Duterte’s southern fiefdom, Sara has not finished announcing her candidacy, although they are already favorites in opinion polls.
According to a Pulse Asia Research poll in July, Sara would be the favorite presidential candidate, with 28 percent of respondents’ support, while her father was the most supported potential vice president, with 18 percent. EFE