Mayors of Davao City: Past to present

Posted: January 24, 2011 in People
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

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)

1.  Santiago Artiaga



2.  Agustin Alvarez



3.  Pantaleon A. Pelayo, Sr.



4.  Alfonso G. Oboza, Sr.



5.  Juan A. Sarenas



6.  Donato Endriga



7.  Apolinario C. Cabigon

(1946- 1946)


8.  Fundador R. Villafuerte



9. Leon A. Garcia



10.  Bernardo B. Teves



11.  Rodolfo B. Sarenas



12.  Julian A. Rodriguez, Sr.



13.  Carmelo L. Porras

(1956-1959, 1960-1963, 1964-1967)


14.  Elias B. Lopez

(1968-1971, 1981-1986)


15.  Luis T. Santos

(1972-1975, 1976-1981)


16.  Zafiro L. Respicio

(1986-1986, 1986-1987)


17. Jacinto T. Rubillar

(1987-1988, 1988-1988)


18.  Rodrigo R. Duterte

(1988-1992, 1992-1995, 1995-1998, 2001-2004, 2004-2007, 2007-2010)


19. Dominador B. Zuño, Jr.



20.  Benjamin C. de Guzman



21. Sara Z. Duterte-Carpio


  1. Henz says:

    I’m confused in number 19 & 20. Are they Mayors in between the terms of Rodrigo Duterte? How come?

  2. Anonymous says:

    Zuno served the mayoralty for three FULL months in acting capacity when Duterte made a leave o absence. In similar fashion, Cora Malanyaon, now Davao Oriental governor, took over the vice mayoralty in acting capacity with the succession of Zuno in Duterte’s absence.

  3. Charles says:

    Was Santiago Artiaga a dean of UST Faculty of Engineering?

  4. Anonymous says:

    so i just realized that mayor santos is my grandfather.

  5. It was almost shocking to see Sarah’s beautiful face after looking at all those that came before her, hahaha!

  6. Anonymous says:

    wah Sir Lopez 🙂

  7. Anonymous says:

    The clean up of Davao started with Chief of Police Luis Santos then Mayor.

  8. Kelvin Lawrence says:

    Why did the mayor Duterte and now her daughter sara decided to clean up Davao City where other cities are so corrupted and indiscipline?

  9. Anonymous says:

    whers the present mayor of year 2014 ?!!

  10. michelle c. petras says:

    why are u waiting for. COME ON 54321

  11. Kelvin Lim says:

    Righteousness exalts a nation but sin is a reproach to any people It all starts with a leader either at home ,community or at a city level

  12. Anonymous says:

    #worstdavaomayorever = R. Duterte

  13. Anonymous says:

    ^ shut up Yellowtard

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s