Bangkok, Dec 14 (EFE).- Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte withdrew his senate candidacy for May’s general election Tuesday, representing his de facto withdrawal from national politics.
“The president has presented his withdrawal from the Senate elections,” Philippine Election Commission Spokesman James Jimenez said on Twitter.
Under Philippine law, the head of state cannot stand for reelection.
Duerte, who had previously announced he was retiring from politics, changed his mind in November and said he would present his senate candidacy in May’s elections.
Duterte’s withdrawal also comes after a few months in which the president even considered running for vice president and the possibility of an alliance with his daughter Sara Duterte-Carpio to continue in power.
However, Duterte-Carpio said in November she’d run for the vice-presidency with presidential candidate Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, son of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos.
This led to Duterte-Carpio’s estrangement from her father, who expressed his support for presidential candidate Christopher “Bong” Go, who later withdrew on Nov. 30.
Rodrigo Duterte commands great popular support in the Philippines, despite being investigated by the International Criminal Court for alleged crimes against humanity over his deadly war on drugs.
Marcos and Duterte-Carpio’s electoral duo is the favorite in the polls, followed by current Vice President Leni Robredo, Duterte’s rival and 2022 presidential hopeful.
The positions of president and vice president are voted separately in the Philippines and can belong to different parties and political rivals.
Other candidates for the presidency in 2022 are Manila Mayor Francisco Domagoso (known as Isko Moreno) and boxing legend Manny Pacquiao. EFE