Like father, like daughter: Reprising Duterte’s 2015 campaign strategy

JEERS TO the media for reporting Sara Dutere-Carpio’s pre-2022 campaign without pointing out that the family is using the same tactic that the father used in his presidential run for 2016. 

In February this year, campaign paraphernalia bearing the presidential daughter’s photo and the slogan ‘Run, Sara, Run’ scattered everywhere in all possible forms: giant tarp posters, banners on buildings, stickers on cars , t-shirts, and calendars. 

Three months later, Duterte-Carpio, thumbed down the obviously manufactured call. In a terse video message posted in her chat group of Davao City reporters, she said there was no chance she would run for presidency next year. She thanked the groups calling her to run, and called on  her supporters to help Filipinos “in dire need of food and jobs.” 

However, on June 3, Rep. Joey Sarte-Salceda (2nd Dist., Albay) cited text messages from the Davao City mayor which revealed a change of mind. Indeed, Duterte-Carpio admitted on June 16 she was open to the possibility of a presidential bid during an exclusive interview with ANC’s The World Tonight. But she ruled out the possibility of running in tandem with her father, addressing  speculations about Rodrigo Duterte’s running as his daughter’s running mate. 

In the past few weeks, media reported that Duterte-Carpio had met with several prospective candidates for 2022. Media accounts of these meetings have mostly framed these meetings as a search for a possible VP candidate. 

The ongoing coverage has so far failed to point out that the Dutertes are  using the same playbook that was used to keep media guessing and reporting on Duterte’s  pre-campaign in 2015. CMFR timelined for In Context in 2015 the instances when Duterte, who was doing a national tour one year before the campaign period, insisted that he was not interested in the presidency while dropping hints that he might actually run. Media complied by providing Duterte with free campaign coverage, making him visible to a national audience, reporting each claim or counterclaim, until the candidate filed his COC as a guest candidate of PDP-Laban. 

Sadly, media seems to be playing the same role today in reporting without context that the Dutertes’ saying one thing today and another tomorrow.