Philippine President, Rodrigo Duterte on Saturday said that he was retiring from politics and has decided not to run for vice president in next year’s elections.
This, he said, was amidst surveys showing Filipinos believed it would violate the constitution.
Duterte, whose six-year term as president ends 2022, instead endorsed his long-time close aide, Senator Christopher Go.
The Senator registered at the Commission on Elections on Saturday as the vice-presidential candidate of the ruling political party in the 2022 elections.
“I would like to wish Senator Go all the best and good luck in his quest for the vice presidency,’’ the 72-year-old leader said, after raising the legislator’s right hand.
Duterte earlier accepted the nomination of the PDP-Laban political party to be its vice-presidential candidate.
Go was nominated as the presidential candidate, but he declined.
In a short statement after Go filed his certificate of candidacy, Duterte said there was an overwhelming sentiment from the public that he was not qualified to run for vice president because his candidacy would violate the spirit of the constitution.
“In obedience to the will of the people, who after all placed me in the presidency many years ago, I now say, to my fellow Filipinos, I will follow what you want, and today I announce my retirement from politics,’’ he added.
Under the Philippines’ constitution, a president can only serve for a single term of six years and cannot seek re-election.
Analysts had warned that if Duterte had successfully run for vice president in the May 2022 elections, he could again have become president if his successor had become incapable of leading the country. (dpa/NAN)