Negros supporters of Sara uncertain on presidential bet

Supporters of Davao Mayor Sara Duterte in Negros Occidental said they will support her bid for the vice presidency but are still uncertain on whom they will support for president.

The president’s daughter on Saturday filed her certificate of candidacy (COC) for vice president and announced that she would be running in tandem with presidential aspirant Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.

PDP Laban Cusi wing candidate Senator Christopher “Bong” Go then withdrew his bid for vice president and filed his COC to run for president. He was accompanied by President Rodrigo Duterte to the Commission on Elections on Saturday.

Retired police colonel William Señoron, convenor of the Alliance and Broadcasting Committee Padayona Inday Sara movement in Negros Occidental, said on Sunday, November 14, that they respect the Davao mayor’s decision and will support her bid for the vice presidency.

They had been hoping that she would run for president, he said.

They, however, will have to hold a consultative meeting to decide on whom they will support for president.

Duterte said he was surprised his daughter filed her COC to run for vice president under the Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (Lakas-CMD) despite being the top contender for president based on the recent surveys.

He said presidential candidate Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos might have influenced his daughter to run as vice president.

The president said he might run for vice president in tandem with Go.

He said is supporting Go’s presidential bid “as a matter of principle”.

Negros Occidental Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson said Go’s running for president makes the race tighter.

“When Bongbong and Sara banded together that actually strengthened their team but now Bong Go comes in…so nobody can claim they are a sure winner,” he said.

Presidential candidate Panfilo Lacson, who was in Bacolod City Saturday, refused to comment on the moves of Duterte and Go.

“We agreed not to comment on our competitors, we want to keep the level of discourse at a high level…no mudslinging, no gutter politics,” he said.

Senate President Vicente Sotto III said they are focused on governance and their platform of government.

“It does not matter to us who else is running,” Sotto said.

“These are very interesting political times,” Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri, who was also in Bacolod Saturday, said.

He has been adopted on the senate slates of presidential candidates Lacson, Leni Robredo and Manny Pacquiao, and may be adopted by another group in the next few days, Zubiri said.

Their condition is that he does not endorse any presidential candidate, which is acceptable to him since they are all his friends, Zubiri said.

Zubiri said he and several senators have filed a bill seeking the abolition of the provision that candidates can be substituted after the deadline for the filing of COCs.

The substitution law in the past was only used if a candidate was incapacitated or died, he said.

Zubiri said this is the first time he has heard of drivers and employees of politicians filing COCs as placeholders.

This swapping of candidates through substitution is a mockery of the elections, he said.*

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