Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte announced his retirement from politics on Saturday, October 2.
Duterte was expected to run for vice president prior to the announcement. He is ineligible to run for president again because the constitution limits presidents to a single six-year term.
The Philippine President made the announcement while accompanying his long-time ally, Senator Christopher “Bong” Go of the ruling PDP-Laban party, as he registered to run for vice president.
“Today, I announce my retirement from politics.”
Political experts have long suspected Duterte of planning a surprise, such as his daughter Sara Duterte-Carpio running for president next year.
Duterte-Carpio, who took over as mayor of Davao from her father, announced last month that she will not seek higher office next year because she and her father decided that only one of them would run for national office in 2022.
Candidates must register by Friday, October 8, although withdrawals and substitutions are allowed until November 15, allowing for last-minute changes of heart, such as Duterte’s 11th-hour participation in the 2016 race, which he won by a large majority.
When Duterte assumed office in 2016, he initiated a crackdown on illegal drugs that resulted in the deaths of nearly 6,000 people, largely petty criminals, and frightened Western countries and human rights organizations. The killings are being investigated by the International Criminal Court.
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