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Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte has made up her mind not to join the 2022 presidential race, President Rodrigo Duterte said in a report by Philippine News Agency.

In an interview over SMNI News Channel posted on Facebook Saturday, Duterte discounted the possibility that his daughter would heed her supporters’ clamor to seek the presidency.

“Inday is definitely out as she has said earlier and for the oft-repeated statements in so many…I think interviews, she'd always maintain that she's not running. She was just true to her words,” he said.

Despite Sara’s decision to finish her last term as mayor, Duterte said her daughter could still seek a higher government post in the future.

“Inday is young, and there will always be some opportunities in the future for her. Not necessarily the presidency, but one of those options in life, especially if you'd think of the imponderables of life, di talaga natin malaman (we really don’t know),” he added.

Sara filed her COC to run for her third term as mayor of Davao City on Wednesday.

On Saturday night, the Office of the City Mayor announced that Sara tested positive for Covid-19 with mild symptoms.

In a Facebook post, it said Sara is currently in isolation, asking “for complete privacy at this time and respectfully urge the public to refrain from sending tokens for well wishes.”

Her office advised those who had close contact with Duterte in the last 14 days to self-monitor for symptoms, and undertake a reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test five to seven days after exposure to her.

The presidential daughter’s scheduled trip to Singapore on October 5 to 8 was postponed as one of her companions tested positive for Covid-19.

‘Good chance’

Meanwhile, Duterte expressed support for the candidates of the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) faction led by Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi.

He defended the decision of the ruling party to field Senator Ronald "Bato" dela Rosa as their presidential bet.

“Kasi wala kaming ulo (Because we don’t have a standard-bearer) and I think PDP decided last minute or the last day of the filing of the certificates (of candidacy) that it would be good to have a head of whole team,” he said.

Duterte said he is hopeful that Dela Rosa would have a fighting chance of winning the presidency since he felt it would benefit the country to have a “military man” as its leader.

“You know, you can never tell the destiny of man and it would be good to have a military man as President of this Republic,” he said. “I think that if we work hard, we have a good chance of making it.”

He noted that the PDP-Laban is also looking forward for “a complete change of the present crop of senators.”

Private dinner

Over the weekend, Duterte flew home to Davao City to meet his spiritual adviser, Kingdom of Jesus Christ founder Pastor Apollo Quiboloy.

Photos posted on the SMNI News Channel showed Duterte and Go having a private dinner with Quiboloy.

Details of the meeting were not disclosed.

Quiboloy, however, said the President wanted to talk about several matters.

“This is one of these nights again where we talk about the future of the country, his future after a few months, and the coming elections,” Quiboloy said in an exclusive interview in his channel.

He said he is also rooting for PDP-Laban's vice presidential bet, Senator Christopher "Bong" Go while still considering Senator Ronald "Bato" dela Rosa as the party’s standard-bearer.

“We will go for Senator Bong Go for vice president and I'm also thinking of the capability of Senator Bato dela Rosa and he's a good man, he has experience, he's a military man, and he garnered 19 million votes—number 5 in the senatorial bet last 2016. So whatever it is the Father's will, we will see,” he added.

Last month, Quiboloy said he would be forced to run as President if there would be nobody strong enough to replace Duterte.

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