- Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte announced today that he was retiring from politics.
- Many critics and political experts in Philippines and abroad view Duterte’s announcement with skepticism.
- Political analysts in Philippines and abroad say Duterte’s move may clear way for his daughter to run for office.
In a surprise move that fueled speculation he was clearing the way for a presidential run by his daughter, controversial Philippines’ leader Rodrigo Duterte announced today that he will not run in the 2022 election, but will retire from politics altogether instead.
76-year-old Duterte, who has been president of Philippines since 2016, is ineligible to seek another term in the next year’s presidential vote, but could run run for vice-president of the country in the next year’s election.
Even though his ruling PDP-Laban party instead nominated Duterte for the position of vice-president, announced on Saturday that he won’t be running for VP, saying that this decision was made in response to the “public’s wishes.”
“Today, I announce my retirement from politics,” he said, appearing at the Commission on Elections center in capital Manila alongside loyalist Senator Christopher ‘Bong’ Go, who was registered PDP-Laban party’s candidate for vice-president instead.
“The overwhelming… sentiment of the Filipinos is that I am not qualified and it would be a violation of the constitution to circumvent the law, the spirit of the constitution” to run for the vice presidency, he insisted.
Duterte’s decision to exit the race could clear the way for his daughter Sara Duterte-Carpio to run for the top job in the country.
Duterte-Carpio earlier said that she wouldn’t be seeking the presidency because she had agreed with her father that only one of them would participate in the national election on May 9, 2022. Duterte’s absence from the ballot could therefore now allow her to enter the race.
Incidentally, the 43-year-old replaced her father as the mayor of Davao City when Duterte became the Philippines president five years ago. She also served as the city head between 2010 and 2013.