Sara Duterte

Sara Duterte

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Sara Duterte is the incumbent mayor of Davao City. She became the city’s first female mayor and the youngest to ever be elected in its history. She is the daughter of President Rodrigo Duterte who also served as mayor of the southern city for several terms before seeking the country’s highest office.

Sara Duterte is the running-mate of Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., a former senator who is also the son and namesake of the late ousted dictator. She entered the vice presidential race at the last hour via substitution after initially claiming that she had no interest in seeking a national post.

Her younger brother, Davao City Vice Mayor Sebastian “Baste” Duterte withdrew his bid for reelection and substituted into the Davao City mayoral race. Their brother, Paolo Duterte, has retained his candidacy for reelection as representative of the 1st District of Davao City.

Mayor Duterte is running on shifting the system of government to federalism to veer away from what she derides as “imperial Manila,” a hark back to her father’s own campaign rhetoric. Her last-minute substitution into a national race is also reminiscent of her father’s own run.

The Marcos-Duterte tandem is formally backed by several other heavyweight political clans including those led by former Presidents Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Joseph Estrada.

It is also endorsed by Apollo Quiboloy, a fugitive Davao-based pastor who is a spiritual advisor to President Duterte. He was added to the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation’s wanted list in February 2022 after he was indicted by American federal prosecutors for a series of alleged criminal acts, including orchestrating a sex trafficking operation within his church.

Sara Zimmerman Duterte-Carpio commonly known as Inday Sara, is a Filipina lawyer and politician serving as the mayor of Davao City since 2016, and previously from 2010 to 2013. Prior to her mayoral term, she served as vice mayor of Davao City from 2007 to 2010. She is the daughter of Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte.

Full Name: Sara “Inday Sara” Zimmerman Duterte-Carpio
Birthdate: May 31, 1978 (Age 46)
Residence: Davao City
Languages Spoken: Filipino, English
Rodrigo Roa Duterte (76 years old), father, Philippine president
Elizabeth Abellana Zimmerman (73 years old), mother, flight attendant
Paolo Zimmerman Duterte, representative of the 1st District of Davao City
Sebastian Zimmerman Duterte, vice mayor of Davao City
Veronica Duterte, student
Spouse: Manases Carpio, Lawyer
Mikhaila María Carpio
Mateo Lucas Carpio
Marko Digong Carpio


  • Admitted to the Philippine Bar, 2005
  • Bachelor of Laws, San Sebastian College – Recoletos, 2005
  • Bachelor of Science, Respiratory Therapy, San Pedro College, 1999

Work Experience:

  • Mayor, Davao City, 2010 – 2013; 2016 – present
  • Partner, Carpio & Duterte Lawyers, 2013 – 2016
  • Chairman, Board-Regional Development Committee-Mindanao Area Committee of the National Economic and Development Authority
  • Chairperson, Regional Development Council
  • Vice Mayor, Davao City, 2007 – 2010
  • Court Attorney, Office of the Associate Justice Romeo J. Carpio Sr., Supreme Court

Major Accomplishments

Under Duterte’s watch, Davao became the eighth richest city in the country in 2020, climbing one spot from the year before. Davao was also ranked the fourth most urbanized city by the Department of Trade and Industry as of 2021, based on the metrics of economic dynamism, government efficiency, infrastructure, and resiliency.

She gained national attention after she repeatedly punched a Regional Trial Court sheriff in July 2011 for which she faced administrative and criminal complaints. Duterte was also reprimanded by the Office of the Ombudsman over the matter and faces disbarment complaints. She apologized but said she was ready to “face the consequences.”

In her first term as mayor, she was appointed by President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III to serve as chairperson of the Regional Development Council and selected as chairman of the Board-Regional Development Committee-Mindanao Area Committee of the National Economic and Development Authority.

Later, from 2016 to 2022, she played supporting roles in the RDC and the Regional Peace and Order Council.

Sara Zimmerman Duterte was born in Davao City on May 31, 1978, the second child to then-lawyer later president Rodrigo Duterte and flight attendant Elizabeth Zimmerman.

Since her youth, Duterte has had a fierce and independent character, leading to a “love-hate relationship” with her father when she was a student due to her disapproval for his womanizing tendencies and late night habits. Despite this, Rodrigo considered Sara to be his favorite child, and placed high value on the education she and her brothers received.

Sara Duterte attended San Pedro College, majoring in BS Respiratory Therapy, and graduated in 1999; in her inaugural speech as mayor of Davao City, Duterte said she originally wanted to be a pediatrician instead of a politician. She later took up a law degree at the San Sebastian College – Recoletos and graduated in May 2005.

In 2005, Duterte passed the Philippine Bar Examination. She then worked for a few months as a court attorney at the office of Supreme Court Associate Justice Romeo Callejo Sr.

She is a reserve officer in the Armed Forces of the Philippines with the rank of colonel.

Sara Duterte was elected mayor of Davao City in 2010, successfully switching roles with her father Rodrigo Duterte as mayor and vice-mayor, respectively. She became the city’s first female mayor and the youngest to have been elected to the position in the political history of Davao City. Vowing to be “useful and to serve the country at all times,” she assumed the post that her father Rodrigo held for over 20 years. The Dutertes have supported political dynasties in the Philippines, stating that their nearly four decades of uncontested rule in Davao as a product of “democratic” process. She won over House Speaker Prospero Nograles, her father’s political rival, in a lead of 200,000 votes in the 2010 elections. Nograles earlier filed a protest at the Commission on Elections in Manila questioning the results, stating that there was a conspiracy of local poll officials.

On July 1, 2011, Duterte gained national attention when she punched Abe Andres, a Davao City Regional Trial Court sheriff, over the demolition of shanties in Barangay Kapitan Tomas Monteverde Sr., Agdao, Davao City. She had earlier asked the court and the demolition team to delay the demolition but Andres refused, making her furious. On July 11, Sheriffs Confederation of the Philippines Inc. filed a complaint against Duterte in connection to the incident. On June 28, 2012, almost a year after the incident, she publicly apologized to Andres and his family.

Sara Duterte decided not to seek re-election in 2013 to give way to her father Rodrigo. She also turned down her father’s offer to run for representative of Davao City’s 1st district. Her first term as mayor of Davao City ended on June 30, 2013.

Duterte ran again for the mayoralty post for Davao City in the 2016 elections and won the position, succeeding her father for the second time. She had her older brother Paolo and later Bernard Al-ag as her vice mayor.

On October 23, 2017, Sara Duterte launched the “Tapang at Malasakit” (lit. ’Courage and Compassion’) movement composed of Duterte supporters and allies.

On February 23, 2018, she launched a new regional party called Hugpong ng Pagbabago. The party was later approved on July 4, 2018, ahead of the 2019 midterm elections.

On October 18, 2018, she filed her candidacy to seek reelection as mayor of Davao City. She said in interview that she does not intend to withdraw her COC as city mayor and request for a substitution to run for a national post, similar to what President Duterte did before in the 2016 presidential elections. However, many political commentators see her as President Duterte’s successor, referring to her role as a powerbroker in the midterms.

Personal life

Sara Duterte has been married since October 27, 2007 to her fellow lawyer Manases “Mans” R. Carpio, whom she met while she was attending San Beda University. They have three children: an adopted daughter, Mikhaila María, nicknamed “Sharky“, and two sons, Mateo Lucas, nicknamed “Stingray“, and Marko Digong, nicknamed “Stonefish“. Manases, a nephew of Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales and Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, is a legal counsel for Lapanday Foods Corporation.

On April 18, 2016, in connection with the rape remark made by her father Rodrigo on one of his presidential candidacy campaigns, Duterte took to her Instagram account to admit that she was once a rape victim. However, Rodrigo Duterte dismissed his daughter’s admission and referred to her as a “drama queen”.

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