Oyogist.com has learned that Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said on Saturday he was retiring from politics, a surprise move that fuelled speculation he was clearing the way for his daughter to run to succeed him, despite her filing for re-election as mayor.
“Today, I announce my retirement from politics,” Duterte said, accompanying loyalist Senator Christopher “Bong” Go from the ruling PDP-Laban party as he registered to run for vice president in next year’s election.
Duterte, 76, had been expected to run for the No. 2 job, a plan which most Filipinos oppose as violating the spirit of the constitution, which sets a one-term limit for the president to stop power from being abused.
“In obedience to the will of the people, who after all placed me in the presidency many years ago, I now say to my countrymen, I will follow your wish,” Duterte said as he urged the public to support the candidacy of his longtime aide.
Political analysts say it is crucial for Duterte to have a loyal successor to insulate him from potential legal action, at home or by the International Criminal Court, over the thousands of state killings in his war on drugs since 2016.