Philippine president says he won’t run for office again: ‘Today, I announce my retirement’

The president of the Philippines is calling it quits.

The Washington Examiner reports that Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has announced that he is retiring from politics at the end of his current term.

“Today, I announce my retirement from politics,” Duterte said at a press conference that was held on Saturday.

“I will heed your wishes”

According to Duterte, he’s ending his tenure in the political arena because of pressure from his constituents.

“The universal sentiment of the Filipinos…is that I am not qualified,” Duterte said Saturday, according to the Examiner. “It would be a violation of the constitution to circumvent the law, the spirit of the constitution.”

He added: “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.”

The 76-year-old has been the president of the Philipines since he took office in 2016, the Examiner noted. Under that country’s system, a president is elected for a term of six years.

The news that Duterte will be stepping away from politics once his term is up came as something of a surprise. Just roughly a month ago, he’d announced that he would mount a bid to be the country’s next vice president. But he’s long faced criticism over allegations of corruption.

Campaign season in full swing

Currently, those who wish to run for office in the Philipines are in the process of filing papers to declare their candidacies. This filing period lasts from Oct. 1 through Oct. 8.

Among those already confirmed to be vying for the presidency there is boxing legend Manny Pacquiao. His main selling point is his approach to the coronavirus pandemic: He wants to help drive economic recovery in the months and years to come.

Pacquiao has been also been among Duterte’s most vocal detractors, accusing the current leader of corruption and even saying that corrupt politicians “will soon end in jail together,” according to the Examiner.

It is unclear what Pacquiao’s chances are of winning the election at this point. Filipino voters will cast their ballots in the nationwide race on May 9, 2022.

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