City Hall of Davao in the 1930s
(Photo courtesy: Davao City Council)
It was in 1988 when I began to be fascinated with politics. I was ten years old then. It was in that year when the first elections under the 1987 Philippine Constitution was held. On the national scene, there were 24 senate seats that were up for grabs with the first twelve had their terms expired by 1995 while those occupying 13th to the 24th spots had it expired by 1992. On the local front, I could still recall the candidates challenging the different posts. For mayor and vice-mayor, it was a Duterte-Gempesaw ticket going up against the Respicio-Zuño team-up. The late popular broadcaster Juan Pala also joined the race for the mayoralty. I could not remember his running mate though.
From 1988 until mid-2010, Davao City had been under the tutelage of two mayors. Rodrigo R. Duterte held two three-term office from 1988 to1998 and from 2001 to 2010. In basketball parlance, it would be refered to as a double ‘Grand Slam’. Benjamin C. De Guzman, then a vice-mayor, succeeded Duterte as mayor prior to the 1998 Elections for whom the latter purposely trained his then trusted lieutenant. De Guzman eventually won the 1998 mayoralty polls and led the city until 2001. The incumbent, Sarah Z. Duterte-Carpio followed her father’s footsteps in mid-2010. Tracing back to the city’s history, one would find out that there were already twenty people who held the city’s leadership prior to the younger Duterte either by election, succession or appointment. Here is the list of Davao City mayors dating back to 1937: (Photos courtesy of the Davao City Council)
(1956-1959, 1960-1963, 1964-1967)
(1988-1992, 1992-1995, 1995-1998, 2001-2004, 2004-2007, 2007-2010)