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Philippines’ Duterte says he will retire from politics

Philippine Senator Christopher Go (R), accompanied by Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, files his certificate of candidacy to join the vice presidential race in Pasay City, the Philippines, Oct. 2, 2021. PHOTO XINHUA

Manila, Philippines |  Xinhua | Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte announced Saturday that he will not run for vice president in the 2022 elections as he had promised earlier,  and will instead retire from politics.

“Today, I announce my retirement from politics,” Duterte, 76, told journalists.

Concerning his surprise announcement, Duterte, who took office in 2016 for one six-year term of presidency as per the constitution, said that he is heeding the Filipinos’ “overwhelming sentiment” for him to quit politics.

“The universal sentiment of the Filipinos … is that I am not qualified. It would be a violation of the constitution to circumvent the law, the spirit of the constitution. And so 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 heed your wishes,” Duterte said.

Duterte was at the poll body on Saturday in Metro Manila to accompany his former longtime aid and Senator Christopher Go, 47, who filed his candidacy for vice president.

Candidates for the 2022 elections could file their certificate of candidacy from Oct. 1 to 8. The elections will be held on May 9, 2022.

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