Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte announced last Saturday, Oct.1, 2021, that he will retire from politics out of respect for “the wishes of the public.” But, he did not specify the date he would step away from politics. Next year, the country will enter a new phase with a new President. But, this will also mark the end of Duterte’s political career.
Earlier, Duterte announced his plans to run for vice-president in the Philippines’ May 2022 elections, but he was constitutionally barred from running for a second term as president.
Under the Philippines constitution, presidents can only serve one, six-year term. As a result, running for national office for a second term will enable political opponents to question the legality of his announcement before the Supreme Court.
The news raised the prospect that the daughter and father will occupy both positions if Sara Duterte-Carpio wins the presidency. The announcement happened amid speculation that he was clearing the way for his daughter, Duterte-Carpio, to be his successor.
Duterte’s plan to run for vice president in the 2022 election was a move his critics said was an attempt to protect him from the International Criminal Court prosecution for the alleged crime against humanity on his bloody war on drugs that killed roughly 8,000 people since 2016.
He is also facing an investigation into government corruption in the health sector. Last Thursday, he blocked the Cabinet members from attending a Senate hearing on the allegations.
Duterte, 76, is known for his contradictory views and outspoken personality that outraged his opponents and described him as a human rights calamity in the bastion of Asian democracy.
He is the first president to consider running for the vice-presidency position. If he pursued his candidacy, this could elevate him back to the presidency if the elected president for any reason is incapacitated or dies.
His harsh crackdown on the drugs trade drew widespread condemnation by rights advocates with the ICC investigating the extrajudicial killings and human rights abuses.
Last month, Duterte-Carpio confirmed that she was not running for higher office in 2022 as she and her father agreed only one of them would run for national office. The decision of the older Duterte to withdraw from the race would clear her way. But political commentators are not convinced that he is done with politics and cautioned that he made similar statements before and jumped into the race and won.
Candidates for the Philippines’ May 2022 elections have until Friday, Oct. 8, 2021, to register, but withdrawals and substitutions are allowed until Nov. 15, 2021.
Written by Janet Grace Ortigas
Edited by Cathy Milne-Ware
The National News: Philippine President Duterte to retire from politics; Robert Tollast
ABC News: Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte announces retirement from politics
The Wall Street Journal: Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte Announces Retirement from Politics; by Jon Emont
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