Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Saturday announced he was retiring from politics and dropping plans to run for vice president in next year’s elections when his term ends, avoiding a legal battle with opponents who question such a move. The 76-year-old leader said last month that he would run for the vice-presidency in 2022. The country’s constitution only permits presidents to serve a single six-year term.The dominant feeling… among Filipinos, is that I am not qualified and that it would be to contravene the constitution” to run for vice president, Duterte said, before adding: “Today, I am announcing my retirement from politics”. But he now says he will withdraw, as “the overwhelming sentiment of the Filipinos is that I am not qualified”.
The move comes amid speculation that his daughter could run for president. Speaking before reporters, Duterte said many Filipinos have expressed their opposition to his vice-presidential bid in surveys and public forums.Today, I announce my retirement from politics,” Duterte said as he accompanied his ally Senator Christopher “Bong” Go of the ruling PDP-Laban party to register Go’s candidacy for vice president in next year’s election.
But political analysts were sceptical, noting that last-minute changes were still possible, as in 2015 when Duterte entered the presidential election race at the eleventh hour and won by a huge margin. “I would take his announcement with a lot of salt,” Carlos Conde, Philippines researcher for New York-based Human Rights Watch, told. “But assuming that he’s really going to retire, that doesn’t mean he won’t get the protection from the ICC that he craves.” Duterte took office in 2016 and launched a crackdown on illegal drugs that left more than 6,000 mostly petty suspects dead and alarmed Western governments and human rights groups.
The International Criminal Court is investigating the killings. Candidates have until Friday to register, but withdrawals and substitutions are allowed until Nov. 15, leaving scope for last-minute changes of heart, like the 11th-hour entry of Duterte for the 2016 election, which he won by a huge margin. Apart from this Duterte is known for his impeccable style. He ordered the return of 1000 vaccines donated to China. He has also given an open challenge to China’s antics. In fact, in the month of April, China had deployed its military ships near the Philippines in the South China Sea. He did not remove them even after speaking many times. The country’s Foreign Minister Tadro (Teddy) Loxin Jr., losing his temper, even abused China. Let us tell you that Duterte has been in the discussion many times for his controversial statements. Once he abused former US President Barack Obama