Sara Duterte-Carpio: Daughter of Philippines leader runs for vice president – and could compete against her father

The daughter of the leader of the Philippines is running for vice president – and looks set to compete against her father for the job.

Sara Duterte-Carpio, 43, will run alongside presidential candidate Ferdinand Marcos Jr, son of the country’s former dictator.

Her confirmation follows months of speculation about a potential bid, and after she decided this week not to run for re-election as mayor of Davao.

Marcos Jr’s party named her as his running mate for the May 2022 election on Saturday – the same day President Rodrigo Duterte’s aide Senator Christopher “Bong” Go threw his hat in the ring for the top job.

A father-daughter head-to-head for vice president now looks increasingly likely.

Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said President Duterte had gone back on his earlier decision not to go for the job, meaning he’ll run against his daughter – a lawyer and mother of three.

“That is his plan, we don’t know if that is going to change,” Mr Andanar told the Reuters news agency.

Human rights groups are worried about the Marcos-Duterte partnership as President Duterte has led a brutal crackdown in his ‘war on drugs’.

The campaign has left thousands dead, including claims of extra-judicial killings that are being investigated by the International Criminal Court.

The long reign of Marcos Jr’s father, who was overthrown in 1986, was also marked by atrocities and economic plunder.

Renato Reyes of Bayan, a prominent left-wing coalition, called it “the biggest threat to the democratic aspirations of the people”.

“It has the most self-serving aims: a Marcos restoration and the protection of outgoing President Rodrigo Duterte,” he said.

Political analyst Edmund Tayao said the joining of two families could be a “game changer”.

“Both of them are very popular. It is easy to assume they are the team to beat,” he said.

The Philippines‘ controversial president, who has cultivated a strongman image – once saying he would shoot drug dealers himself – is stepping down due to a six-year limit.

Other hopefuls as leader of the nation of 110 million include boxing legend Manny Pacquiao, Manila mayor Francisco Domagoso and vice president Leni Robredo.

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