President Rodrigo Duterte has announced he will not run for vice president in next year's elections and will leave politics.
Sen. Bong Go, Duterte's former longtime aide, filed his own vice presidential candidacy at a Commission on Elections center on Saturday.
According to Duterte, “the overwhelming... sentiment of the Filipinos is that I am not qualified” to run for the vice presidency. “Today I retire from politics.
The constitution limits presidents to a single six-year term, and opponents said they would challenge Duterte's announced vice presidential run before the Supreme Court. Amid speculation he was paving the way for his daughter, Sara Duterte-Carpio, to run for president, Duterte resigned. Since she and her father agreed only one of them would run for national office in 2022, Duterte-Carpio said she would not run for higher office next year.
“This allows Sara Duterte to run,” said Antonio La Vina, an Ateneo de Manila law and politics professor. But La Vina said the fiery leader could change his mind and replace Go.
However, withdrawals and substitutions are allowed until November 15, allowing for last-minute changes of heart, like Duterte's entry for the 2016 election, which he easily won. President Rodrigo Duterte's political style keeps everyone on their toes and ensures everyone keeps his word. But he's also a leader who breaks promises, according to Al Jazeera's Jamela Alindogan in Manila.
“He said repeatedly during the 2016 campaign that he would not run for office. He didn't show up to file, so someone else did it a month later."
To avoid criminal charges after leaving office, Duterte declared in August he would run for vice president in the next election. Duterte ran for president in 2016 on a single issue: reducing crime. He urged police to “kill” drug suspects during his campaign and later as president.
On June 30, 2016, he began a deadly campaign described as a "reign of terror" by country's Catholic leaders. According to the latest government data released in June, police and other security forces have killed at least 6,117 suspected drug dealers as of April 30, 2021. However, the UN reported at least 8,600 deaths in June 2020.
In 2017, the Philippine police reported 16,355 “homicide cases under investigation” as successes in the drug war. In December 2016, Al Jazeera reported over 6,000 deaths in the drug war, raising concerns about the government's record-keeping system and possible "data manipulation."
Human rights groups estimate the death toll at 27,000-30,000. They accuse the authorities of executing innocent suspects, including children. A UN investigation found at least 73 children killed, the youngest just five months old. Numerous people were also killed by “unknown” gunmen who turned out to be police officers. Of the thousands reported, few were prosecuted.