MANILA, June 2 (Mabuhay) — A town mayor confirmed Wednesday that volunteers are conducting surveys in Bulacan to gather millions of signatures backing Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio’s potential presidential bid in the 2022 elections.

“I think they’re really testing the pulse of the nation because I was told that the required signature is about 17 million. I think we have 15 and they are asking for more. This group of volunteers is actually going around Bulacan and asking the barangay captains if they can help… It’s purely out of the spirit of volunteerism,” Guiguinto, Bulacan Mayor Ambrosio Cruz Jr. confirmed.

Cruz denied that village officials were given orders to conduct a signature campaign to determine if there was enough voter support for Sara’s possible candidacy by next year.

“No, there’s no letter from the municipality. I think it’s the initiative of a lot of volunteers going around Bulacan,” he said.

He said there was no “pressure” placed on barangay captains to conduct the signature campaign.

“There’s no directive from our office, even from the DILG (Department of the Interior and Local Government),” he said.

Former Bayan Muna party-list representative Teddy Casiño earlier said a barangay chairman in Baliwag, Bulacan sent forms to a homeowner’s association to solicit support for the President’s daughter.

“The forms presented to your good office is a sign that you are willing to support Ms. Sarah Duterte on the upcoming Presidential Election,” a copy of the supposed survey read.

CCasiño has slammed the activity as a form of early campaigning.

“Election laws explicitly prohibit barangays officials from engaging in partisan political activity,” he had said.

“Secondly, as far as election laws are concerned, public funds and public resources and public offices are not supposed to be used for this kind of partisan political activity.”

“Not to say if the candidacy of Sara Duterte if that were true is a blatant violation of the constitutional prohibition on political dynasties,” he added.

Duterte insists daughter Sara not running for President in 2022; slams Trillanes anew

In February, President Rodrigo Duterte said his daughter was not running for the country’s highest post in 2022.

“Inday Sara is not running. I have really, really put my foot down. Naaawa ako sa anak ko. Ang politiko dito, kababuyan,” he said.

In January, the Davao City mayor also appealed to her supporters to wait for her to run for president until 2034.

“I understand where they are coming from. I too am anxious where we are going as a nation. I am always grateful that I have their trust and confidence,” she said.

“I am pleading to them to please allow me to run for President [in] 2034, if at that time there is something I can do to help the country. Thank you.” (MNS)

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