Filipino Rodrigo Duterte announces he will retire from politics

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said on Saturday that he would not run for vice-president in 2022 and will step down from politics, potentially paving the way for his daughter to run for the country’s top office.

Duterte, whose polls show he remains nearly as popular as when he won in 2016 over the drug-ridding promise, is constitutionally barred from running for a second term as head of government.

“The prevailing feeling… among Filipinos is that I am unqualified and that it would be a violation of the constitution to circumvent the law, the spirit of the constitution” to run for vice president, said Duterte, 76.

“Today, I am announcing my retirement from politics.”

The authoritarian brandon said in August he would challenge the country’s second-highest post in the May election – a move that critics have called a smokescreen and fear-motivated that could be the subject of criminal charges after leaving office.

But a recent PulseAsia Research poll showed Duterte to be in second place among preferred vice presidents.

A Social Weather Stations survey showed that 60% of Filipinos did not believe Duterte’s run for vice president was in keeping with the spirit of the constitution.

Duterte made the surprise announcement where he was due to apply. He did not specify when he would quit politics.

His close associate, Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go, instead registered for the vice-presidency.

Sara Duterte | REUTERS

The tough-talking leader has yet to announce his favorite successor, but many expect his daughter, Sara, to be the favorite in recent polls.

She would likely protect Duterte from criminal charges in the Philippines and from prosecutors at the International Criminal Court investigating his deadly war on drugs, which rights groups say has killed tens of thousands.

But the mayor of the southern city of Davao – a post her father held before he became president – said she would not run if Duterte ran for vice-president.

The election season kicked off on Friday with candidates vying for thousands of president to city councilor positions.

The week-long sign-up process kicks off seven typically noisy and deadly months of campaigning for more than 18,000 positions – but the raging pandemic and economic hardship caused by COVID-19 lockdowns could dampen the mood of the country. Party.

Even though Sara misses the October 8 deadline for registration, she still has until November 15 to make a late entry into the presidential race – like her father did in 2015.

Duterte’s ally, Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, son and namesake of the country’s former dictator and former actor and city mayor Francisco Domagoso, known by his pseudonym Isko Moreno, is among the other prominent candidates. .

Newly retired boxing superstar Manny Pacquiao signed up to run for president on Friday.

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