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Politics

Duterte to Retire From Politics, Won’t Seek Vice Presidency

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said he’s retiring from politics and won’t be seeking the vice presidency in 2022, a surprise move that saw his party’s nominee for the top position instead seek the No. 2 post.

Duterte’s former aide and now senator, Christopher ‘Bong’ Go, filed his candidacy for vice president on Saturday. The ruling PDP-Laban Party earlier nominated Go as its presidential candidate, while endorsing Duterte for vice president.

“In obedience to the will of the people who placed me in the presidency, I now say, to my countrymen, I will follow your will. Today, I announce my retirement from politics,” Duterte said in a speech after Go filed his certificate of candidacy.

Prior to the 2016 elections, Duterte also said he’s retiring from politics, but ultimately ran for president and won.

Duterte’s daughter Sara on Saturday filed her certificate to run again as mayor of Davao City. Sara is leading recent presidential surveys even as she maintained her focus is on getting re-elected in her home city. In August, presidential spokesman Harry Roque said Duterte could drop his bid for vice president if Sara seeks the top post.

While candidates must register their intention to run with the Commission on Elections by Oct. 8, the list of presidential contenders won’t be finalized until mid-November. This means other politicians can emerge as substitutes in a final attempt to join the race — a path previously taken by Duterte.

“Given that President Duterte decided to withdraw his acceptance of nomination, I am here to take on the challenge,” Go said in live-streamed remarks after his filing, adding he wants to continue Duterte’s programs. “There should be no let up in our campaign against illegal drugs, corruption and criminality.”

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