Sara Duterte-Caprio and Marcos Jr form an alliance

The daughter of the outgoing president has given up on the presidency, but will run in the May election for the number two spot alongside the son of former dictator Ferdinand Marcos. Rodrigo Duterte (who cannot succeed himself) has reneged on his pledge to retire from politics and will instead try to get a seat in the Senate, but with a different party than his daughter. Nine people are trying to get into Malacañan palace.

Manila (AsiaNews) - Sara Duterte-Caprio, the daughter of outgoing Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, is officially running for the Office of Vice President of the Philippines in the upcoming election set for 9 May.

Long viewed as a favourite for the presidency, the 43-year-old outgoing mayor of Davao ultimately chose to run for the vice presidency under the banner of the new Lakas-CMD party, founded by former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

Under the Philippine electoral law, the president and vice president are elected separately. But in Manila, the alliance between Duterte-Caprio and Senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr., the son of the former dictator who "reigned" the Philippines from 1965 to 1986, is seen as a done deal.

Duterte-Caprio was included in the list of candidates who can run thanks to a law that allows withdrawals and substitutions. The deadline to file to be a candidate was 9 October, but the law allowed candidates to withdraw and be substituted until 15 November.

Ten different candidates took advantage of this, including outgoing President Rodrigo Duterte. Contrary to what he said a month ago about retiring from politics, Duterte senior has taken the place of a paper candidate and is now running for a Senate seat under the banner of the PDDS, a party that supports Senator Christopher Bong Go, his historic ally, in the race for the presidency.

Many observers have looked at this complex game of musical chairs as it impacts the PDP-Laban, the party that brought Rodrigo Duterte to power in 2016. In fact, Manny Pacquiao, a former professional boxer now running to become president, comes from Duterte’s own former party, but the two have fallen out.

The complicated game of alliances and splits is linked to the wider issue of the geopolitical location of the Philippines, after Duterte has cooled relations with Washington in recent years in order to get closer to China.

Some nine candidates remain in the race for the presidency. Notwithstanding the squabbles among Duterte's former supporters, the most accredited face of the opposition is incumbent Vice President Leni Robredo, who in recent years has often clashed with Rodrigo Duterte not only over policy but also personality.