Rodrigo Duterte, the Philippine president, has withdrawn his candidacy for vice president.
In the face of criticism, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said on Saturday that he will not run for Vice President.
Duterte had accepted the ruling PDP-Laban Party’s endorsement to compete for the country’s second-highest post instead of running for president in 2022 due to a constitutional requirement limiting presidents to one term in the Philippines.
According to Philstar.com, he said he wanted to run for vice president to continue his administration’s efforts against insurgency and illegal drugs, but he was met with significant criticism that he was trying to get around a rule that prevents presidents from seeking a second term.
The Washington Post reported that during his resignation announcement, Duterte referenced a recent poll that revealed the majority of Filipinos thought his running for vice president goes against the Constitution’s mandate.
“The overwhelming view among Filipinos is that I am unqualified, and circumventing the law, the spirit of the Constitution, would be a violation of the Constitution,” Duterte told Philstar.com. “I will do what you want in obedience to the desire of the people, who put me in the president many years ago.”
Duterte went on to say, “Today, I announce my retirement from politics.”
Even while no law officially bans an incumbent president from pursuing the vice presidency, Constitution framer Christian Monsod warned that the decision to run for vice president was “insidious.”
According to Michael Yusingco, a senior research fellow at the Ateneo Policy Center, the Constitution’s prohibition on the president seeking re-election reveals that it “abhors the consolidation of executive power on a single individual.”
According to the Washington Post, Duterte, 76, has endorsed Bong Go, a former aide-turned-senator, to run for vice president instead.
Manny Pacquiao, a boxing champion and Filipino lawmaker, announced his presidential candidacy in September and his retirement from the sport late last month.
Duterte ran for president in 2016 on a platform of eradicating drugs, crime, and government corruption, but he fell short.
Last month, the International Criminal Court approved an investigation into allegations of crimes committed during his war on drugs campaign, which was requested by then-Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda in May, citing belief that “the crime against humanity of murder had been committed” in the Philippines between July 1, 2016 and March 16, 2019.
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