- Oops!Something went wrong.Please try again later.
The daughter of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has resigned from the regional political party she founded and joined a national party, which could pave the way for her to become its presidential candidate in elections next year.
Sara Duterte-Carpio, mayor of the southern city of Davao, took her oath as member of the Lakas-CMD political party hours after quitting as chairperson of Hugpong ng Pagbabago and one day after withdrawing her registration to seek re-election as mayor.
"Tonight, I formally become a member of Lakas-CMD," she said in a post on Facebook.
House Majority Leader Ferdinand Martin Romualdez, president of Lakas-CMD, said the party had long been inviting Duterte-Carpio to be a member as they were "all impressed with her sterling qualities as a leader".
"I am confident that with Mayor Sara's exceptional brand of leadership, she can help our party chart a new course that will ensure a brighter tomorrow for our children and the next generation," he said.
Romualdez said "no further discussions" were held when asked if Duterte-Carpio would become the party's substitute presidential candidate for the May 9, 2022 elections.
National political parties have until Monday to switch their candidates.
An unknown member of Lakas-CMD, Anna Velasco, had registered to be its presidential candidate in October but some members of the party had admitted that she was just a placeholder for Duterte-Carpio.
The 43-year-old mayor did not confirm if she will switch out with Velasco but told reporters at a wedding she attended: "I am thankful to my supporters and I hope that whatever happens in the coming days, I will be able to give them what they want."
She has been topping surveys on presidential candidates and private groups have not stopped appealing to her even after she said she wanted to run for a third term as Davao City mayor.
The main contenders in the presidential race next year are Vice President Leni Robredo, boxing icon Senator Manny Pacquiao, Manila City Mayor Francisco "Isko Moreno" Domagoso, ex-police chief Senator Panfilo Lacson, former senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr and former police chief Senator Ronald Dela Rosa.
In the 2022 elections, the Philippines is due to vote for a new president, vice president, half of the members of the Senate, all members of the House of Representatives as well as provincial and municipal officials.