DAVAO CITY/MANILA – The presidential race in 2022 is shaping up as a big rematch between former Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. of Ilocos Norte and Vice President Maria Leonor Leni Robredo of Naga City.

Marcos and Robredo first fought in the vice presidential race in the 2016 elections but Robredo emerged the winner in the hotly contested elections.

This as Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio of Davao City slid to vice presidency in a team-up with Marcos as Lakas-CMD official candidate.

Mayor Duterte is now chairman of the Lakas-CMD, the party of former Presidents Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and Fidel V. Ramos, which adopted Marcos Jr. as presidential candidate.

Mayor Duterte later regained the chairmanship of the regional party Hugpong ng Pagbabago as it formed alliance with the Lakas-CMD, the Partido Federal Party of Marcos, the Partido ng Masang Pilipino of former President Joseph Estrada to support the Marcos-Duterte tandem.

With the development, surveys indicated that the Bongbong Marcos-Sara Duterte team appeared formidable as it was leading other candidates.

In a day of twists, withdrawals and speculations, Mayor Sara dropped her reelection bid in Davao City in favor of her younger brother Vice Mayor Sebastian Duterte.

Allies of the feisty 43-year-old lawyer-mayor led by Albay Rep. Joey Salceda earlier said Mayor Sara was running for president,

Vice President Robredo is running in tandem with Sen. Francis Pangilinan under the opposition alliance.

Other presidential candidates are Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Moreno, Emmanuel Pacquiao, Sen. Panfilo Lacson and labor leader Leody de Guzman as Sen. Ronald dela Rosa withdrew his certificate of candidacy to give way to Sen. Christopher Lawrence Bong Go.

Senator Go, however, later withdrew from the race, leaving the administration without a candidate.

Robredo said Mayor Sara’s candidacy for vice president will work to the advantage of the opposition.

Earlier, presidential aspirant Sen. Emmanuel Pacquiao met in Malacanang with President Rodrigo Duterte, a staunch ally turned critic, and Sen. Christopher Lawrence Go, a candidate for VP of the PDP-Laban, reportedly to “renew friendship,” but speculations are that they could be cooking some political arrangement for the May 9, 2022 national and local elections.

Partido Federal Pilipinas (PFP) Secretary-General Thompson Lantion dismissed the claims of Rep.  Salceda that Duterte-Carpio would run for the country’s top post, describing it as merely the lawmaker’s opinion.

In Antipolo City, Go admitted a possible change in the political landscape and his possible withdrawing his candidacy.

“I have been a candidate for vice president for 38 days but there will be changes in the candidates in the next hours. If I need to step aside, then I cannot do anything about it. The only thing I can promise is, even as an ordinary Filipino, I will continue providing service to the public,” he said in a speech before supporters.