Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Saturday October 2, announced that he is retiring from politics.
Prior to the announcement, Duterte had been expected to run for vice president. He is not eligible to run again for president as the constitution sets a single-six-year term limit for the president.
Making the announcement as he accompanied his long time loyalist Senator Christopher “Bong” Go, from their ruling PDP-Laban party as he registered to run for vice president, the Philippine President said;
“Today, I announce my retirement from politics.”
Political observers had long suspected Duterte could spring a surprise, such as a presidential run by his daughter, Sara Duterte-Carpio, next year.
Duterte-Carpio who replaced her father as mayor of Davao, said last month she was not running for higher office next year because she and her father had agreed only one of them would run for national office in 2022.
Candidates have until Friday October 8 to register, but withdrawals and substitutions are allowed until November 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.
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.