All in the family: Duterte’s youngest son running for Davao City vice mayor

Baste Duterte with his sister Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio. Photo: ABS-CBN News.
Baste Duterte with his sister Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio. Photo: ABS-CBN News.

It shouldn’t have been a shock given that his family has been active in Davao’s politics for decades, but Sebastian “Baste” Duterte’s decision to join politics — which he once admitted was not his cup of tea — caught some people by surprise.

Today Baste, President Rodrigo Duterte’s youngest son, filed his certificate of candidacy for Davao City’s vice mayor post. He was accompanied by his running mate, older sister and current Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, who’s running for re-election.

Aside from the two, their brother Paolo is running for a seat in Congress to represent Davao province’s first district. Paolo was Davao City’s vice mayor until he resigned in December 2017 following allegations of links to the drug trade and a much-publicized online spat with his daughter.

Duterte-Carpio told the Philippine Daily Inquirer that the people of Davao could expect more of the Duterte style of governance if she and Baste win next year.

She said: “They can expect the kind of leadership the President has taught us. Listen to the people, listen to [them] and address their needs.”

Baste will be running under Carpio’s party, Hugpong sa Tawong Lungsod-Hugpong ng Pagbabago, which he joined in April this year.

Despite joining the party, however, he still voiced his reluctance in joining politics. Rappler quoted him saying in August: “I wanted to avoid it as much as possible because politics is troublesome.”

Baste has lived a life that’s relatively under-the-radar, especially when compared to his more vocal and sometimes fierce sister.

President Duterte’s youngest child with his ex-wife Elizabeth Zimmerman, Baste has never worked in an office or for an employer, according to a 2016 profile published by the Philippine Star. 

According to that article, he owns a junk shop in Davao which serves as his bread-and-butter, and he only works there “at the end of the month.”

One of the few times that he was highly visible was when he hosted the television travel show Lakbai, which according to Rappler aired only once. Then there’s also his high-profile romance with actress Ellen Adarna which ended when he texted her that he wanted out.

Cruel way to end a relationship, bro. Let’s hope he’s a little less harsh when it comes to running a city.

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