Philippines enters election season to elect Duterte’s replacement

Bangkok, Oct 1 (EFE).- The Philippines entered Friday a long electoral season beginning the candidate registration for the May 2022 elections, in which the successor to controversially popular President Rodrigo Duterte will be elected.

The first to present the documents to the Election Commission was Philippine boxing legend Manny Pacquiao, who earlier in the week announced he was leaving the ring to focus on the presidential fight.

Pacquiao, 42, who won world titles in various weight classes during his career, was embraced by dozens of followers who surrounded the agency’s office.

The former boxer, one of the favorites according to polls, will be accompanied by former minister Lito Atienza as a candidate for the presidency and promised in a recent speech to fight poverty and corruption if he comes to power.

Other candidates who have run for president for a single six-year term include actor-turned-politician Francisco Domagoso, current mayor of Manila, and former police chief Panfilo Lacson.

Candidates have until Oct. 8 to register their participation in the elections, where the positions of president and vice president are chosen directly and separately.

Duterte, 76, who by law cannot run for reelection, announced in early September he was running as a vice presidential candidate.

Some analysts see this decision as an attempt to shield themselves from justice after the International Criminal Court ordered on Sep. 15 to investigate the war on drugs, initiated by Duterte upon his arrival in power.

The current president, one of the leaders with the highest popularity rate in the history of the nation and who during his tenure has starred in numerous controversies and strong outbursts, has seen his support fall in the latest online polls.

His daughter Sara, mayor of Davao city, is the person with the greatest support from Filipinos to succeed her father, but has dismissed running in the elections scheduled for May. EFE


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