Philippine’s Rodrigo Duterte announces retirement from politics

Philippine president announces retirement from politics
President Duterte had previously said he would stand as vice-president in next year's election. Source: EPA
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Daily US Times: Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte announced his retirement from politics as he declared he will not stand in elections next year.

Last month, Mr Duterte said that he would run for the vice-presidency in 2022. The constitution of Philippine only permits presidents to serve a single six-year term.

But the controversial “strongman” figure now says he will withdraw, as “the overwhelming sentiment of the Filipinos is that I am not qualified”.

His decision comes amid speculation that his daughter could run for president.

The 76-year-old leader came to power in 2016 promising to reduce crime and fix the country’s drug crisis.

But critics say that during his five years as President, Mr Duterte has encouraged police to carry out thousands of extrajudicial killings of suspects in what he has called his “war on drugs”.

Sara Duterte-Carpio, Mr Duterte’s daughter, is currently mayor of the southern city of Davao. She has given mixed messages about running for high office.

Ms Duterte-Carpio said last month that she would not join the race because she and her father had agreed that only one of them would stand in the election next May.

She has led every opinion poll conducted this year.

Mr Duterte announced his surprise retirement from politics at the venue in Manila where he was expected to register his candidacy.

The president said that standing for the vice-presidency “would be a violation of the constitution to circumvent the law, the spirit of the constitution”.

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