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3 DUTERTES EYE SENATE RUN; MARCOS, ‘PINK’ TO TEAM UP? Too early to tell, say Sotto and Lacson as nation gears for midterm elections

By ALFRED GABOT, Editor in Chief

CAGAYAN DE ORO/MANILA — Days after she surprised the nation by resigning as Education Secretary and amid looming investigation on former president Rodrigo Duterte on his anti-drug war by the House of Representatives and the International Criminal Court, Vice President Sara Duterte surprised again with a revelation that her father and two brothers will be running for senator in the May 2025 election, with one of them pursuing the presidency in May 2028 elections.

The Vice President made the disclosure in Cagayan de Oro on the sideline of a project, saying aside from his father, Davao City Mayor Sebastian “Baste” Duterte and Davao City 1st District Rep. Paolo Duterte will each seek a Senate seat in the 2025 midterm elections.

 Mayor Duterte is being groomed also to pursue the presidency in 2028, said the Vice President, adding she will run for mayor of Davao City again, possibly when her term as the country’s second top official ends in 2028.

“All of them are raring to run. PRRD (President Rodrigo Roa Duterte), senator. My older brother, Paolo Duterte, who is congressman now, senator. Even Sebastian Duterte,” the Vice President said in an interview with the media in Cagayan de Oro.

The Duterte brothers are reportedly bent on landing Senate seats. Paolo is on his third term as congressman while Baste is on his second term as Davao City mayor.

Supporters of the Dutertes hailed the pronouncement, saying this proves the “Duterte Magic” is still strong, but foes said they will organize an anti-Duterte ticket to counter their plans.

Others like former Senate President Vicente Sotto III and former Senator Panfilo Lacson said it was too early to comment on VP Sara’s announcement, saying the filing of certificates of candidacy has not even started. Filing of CoCs will begin in October according to the Commission on Elections calendar.

Meanwhile, Duterte arch critic former Senator Antonio Trillanes IV said the Marcos administration can unite with non-traditional allies, including the so-called “pink” forces of the independent opposition.

Trillanes, who said he will not run for senator but for mayor of Caloocan City in 2025, disclosed he has sounded the camps of Marcos and opposition leaders former Senators Francis Pangilinan and Bam Aquino about his proposal.

Asked if he thought President Marcos might be open to the idea, he said, “We’ll know in a few days. Naparating na natin yung mensahe (We have sent the message).”Meanwhile, Speaker Martin Romualdez welcomed the plans of former president Duterte and his sons to run for senator in 2025, saying it is part of the democratic process.

The Dutertes have the right to seek whatever elective position they want, Senate President Francis Escudero said on Wednesday.

“It is their right to run for any position in the upcoming election and the right of our countrymen to choose who they want to serve in any position in the government,” Escudero said.

The announcement of the Vice President that three Dutertes will run for the Senate proves that the “Duterte Magic” continues, former presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said, noting that the other candidates are panicking.

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