DAVAO CITY – Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio has  withdrawn her candidacy for reelection as city mayor in next year’s polls, strengthening further speculations that she will run for president.

In her Facebook page announcement, Mayor Duterte-Caprio said her brother, Davao City Vice Mayor Sebastian “Baste” Duterte, will be her substitute and has also withdrawn his COC for vice mayor.

“Ngayong hapon wini-withdraw ko ang akong kandidatura sa pagka-Mayor ng Davao City. Si VM Baste ang papalit sa akin,” Duterte-Carpio said in a statement.

“Si Atty. Melchor Quitain ang nominado namin sa pagka-Bise Alkalde. Ito lamang po muna. Maraming salamat po (Atty. Melchor Quitain is our nominee for vice mayor. This is it for now. Thank you very much),” she added.

Earlier, Davao de Oro Governor Jayvee Tyron Uy and the Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP) treasurer, he was optimistic that Mayor Sara will take on the challenge and run for president in the May 9, 2022 elections.

“According to her last statement that she decided not to run, I will still wait until November 15. Knowing Mayor Inday, she is a strong-minded person she knows what she’s doing and I just hope there’s a miracle to happen,” he said.

Uy also said that as a Duterte ally, he believed that the people is waiting for her decision and they are hopeful that she will heed their call.

Last week, Duterte has appealed to her supporters to cancel their planned Cotabato to Manila caravan from November 4 to 15.

“I am respectfully appealing to the organizers of Sara All Philippines 2022 to forego the planned Cotabato to Manila caravan from November 4 to 15,” Duterte said in her official Facebook account.

Local convenors of the “Run, Sara, Run” here have earlier planned to hold a grand caravan in Pasay City from November 14 to 15 to further urge Mayor Sara to run for president in the 2022 polls.

Sara reiterated that the caravan was unnecessary because a decision had already been made public as early as September 10 that she is not running for President.