MANILA, Philippines – Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte has joined national party, Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (Lakas-CMD).
A photo and video shared with the media showed Duterte taking her oath of membership before Lakas-CMD chairperson Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr., and party president, House Majority Leader Ferdinand Martin Romualdez.
She took her oath at the Revilla Farm in Silang, Cavite around 6 p.m.
This developed after Duterte tendered her resignation as chairperson of regional party Hugpong ng Pagbabago on Thursday morning.
The move is seen as a step closer to a potential run for higher office in the 2022 elections.
Sara Duterte’s latest actions have fuelled speculations she will be gunning for a national post in the 2022 elections. It remains unclear what position she will be running for as she has yet to give details about her political plans.
Lakas-CMD fielded its member, Anna Capela Velasco, for its presidential candidate during the filing of certificate of candidacy last October. Another party member named Lyle Fernando Uy is also listed as its vice presidential bet.
Lakas-CMD secretary general Prospero Pichay earlier admitted that they were simply fielding a placeholder for its candidates as they are eyeing Sara Duterte as their standard bearer.
Lakas-CMD had been wooing the presidential daughter but Duterte earlier said she had no intention to seek a higher post. She eventually filed her certificate of candidacy for a third and final term as mayor of Davao City.
Other political parties, such as PDP-Laban, have also urged Duterte to run for president.
Sara Duterte has consistently topped opinion polls on preferred candidates for president.
Lakas-CMD is the political party of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
Sara Duterte is known to have close ties with Arroyo, and was believed to be instrumental in the latter’s ascent as House Speaker in 2018.
Political parties wanting to change candidates for the 2022 elections have until November 15 to file their substitution