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Duterte to Retire from Politics, Saying It's the 'Will of the People'

It's back to private life for Duterte in 2022.
by Arianne Merez
Oct 2, 2021
Photo/s: Presidential Photo

(UPDATE) President Rodrigo Duterte on Saturday said he would heed the "will of the people" to retire from public office as he endorsed the vice presidential candidacy of his longtime aide.

The 76-year-old leader, who is barred from reelection, has yet to endorse a successor, as his daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio earlier declined to run for president. However, that was premised on the father's plan to run for vice president and that only one of them should seek national office in 2022.

Duterte acknowledged negative sentiments about his previous plans to run for vice president next year, which political analysts have described as an attempt to circumvent the Constitution.

"In obedience to the will of the people, who after all placed me in the presidency many years ago, I now say sa mga kababayan ko, sundin ko ang gusto ninyo. And today, I announce my retirement from politics. Salamat po sa inyong lahat," Duterte said in his speech.

Continue reading below ↓


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Duterte, the first president to come from Mindanao, instead expressed support for his former aide, Sen. Bong Go's vice presidential bid.

ALSO READ: Plot Twist? Bong Go is Running for Vice President

A longtime mayor of Davao City before becoming president, Duterte has never lost an election since the start of his political career. He rose to power in 2016 on the promise of a bloody war on drugs, and a corruption crackdown. 

The President continued to enjoy majority support, according to a June 23 to 26 Social Weather Stations survey. However, net satisfaction declined to "very good" territory from "excellent" and off record highs in November.

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While Duterte-Carpio still led the Sept. 6 to 11 Pulse Asia poll on potential presidential candidates, her rivals ate into her lead, with her ratings dropping to 20% from 28%. In the same poll, Senate President Tito Sotto overtook Duterte in the vice presidential race.

Having an ally as a successor would be beneficial to Duterte, analysts said, as the International Criminal Court prepares to investigate his drug war for possible crimes against humanity.

Senators have also uncovered alleged evidence of corruption in the procurement of COVID-19 gear just as the Philippines earned the dubious distinction of being the worst among 57 of the world's most important economies in terms of COVID response.

ALSO READ: Philippines is 'Worst Place to Be In' During COVID: Bloomberg Index

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