Sara Duterte in green, Bongbong Marcos in red as they visit Cebu

Sara Duterte in green, Bongbong Marcos in red as they visit Cebu
Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte arrives at the Cebu-Mactan International Airport on Friday, Oct. 22, 2021. Duterte, who had filed for reelection in Davao, has repeatedly denied she is eyeing a top national post.
Sara Duterte / Released

MANILA, Philippines — Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte landed at the Cebu-Mactan International Airport as seen in photos released on her social media accounts Friday evening.

Duterte, who is being urged to run for president by supporters of her father, President Rodrigo Duterte, is wearing a green hoodie which reads "SARA ALL 2022" in the photos. She is running for reelection in Davao as mayor.

"Magandang gabi sa inyong lahat. Confirmed po ang aking pagbisita sa Cebu. Kausap ko ngayon ang aking pinsan na si Cebu 5th District Board Member Red Duterte. Maraming salamat," Duterte said in a Facebook post.

Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte meets with her cousin, Cebu Board Member Red Duterte (second from left) in Cebu City shortly after arriving in the province on Friday, Oct. 22, 2021.
Sara Duterte/Released

It is unknown at what time she set foot in the vote-rich province, which also saw the arrival of presidential aspirant Bongbong Marcos earlier Friday.

Duterte had repeatedly denied that she is eyeing the country's top posts. Speculations are rife, however, that Duterte can swap places with an aspirant running for a higher national position before the Commission on Elections's deadline for substitution lapses in November.

Marcos, meanwhile, paid Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia a courtesy visit at the capitol shortly after flying in in the morning of Friday, The Freeman reported.

Bongbong Marcos walks with Duke Frasco (right), a Cebu congressman, as he arrives at the Cebu provincial hall on Friday, Oct. 22, 2021.
The Freeman/Aldo Banaynal

Rep. Duke Frasco (Cebu 5th District) welcomed Marcos, son and namesake of dictator Ferdinand Marcos Jr., at the airport.

He was also set to inaugurate the headquarters of his presidential campaign in the city.

Why it matters

Marcos has his work cut out for him in the vote-rich Central Visayas. In the 2016 vice presidential race, he performed poorly in Cebu province which chose Leni Robredo by a wide margin.

This weighed heavily on Marcos' overall numbers and Robredo went on to secure the vice presidency for having earned only 270,000 votes more.

Marcos then challenged Robredo's victory with a poll protest at the Presidential Electoral Tribunal. After a slew of motions, hearings and ballot recounts that lasted four years, Robredo was confirmed to have earned more votes. The case was dismissed in February this year.

Marcos and Robredo are set to compete again, this time for the country's top post. Cebu's 51 cities and municipalities are expected to deliver an estimated 3.3 million votes next year.

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