Instead of filing his certificate of candidacy (COC) for vice president in the 2022 polls, President Duterte took the country by surprise when he announced his retirement from politics.
Duterte’s plot twist unraveled on the day he was expected to file his COC for vice president before the Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Saturday, October 2.
The President arrived with his long-time aide Senator Bong Go at the Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila in Pasay City past 3 p.m. but instead of him, Go was the one who filed his COC for the vice presidential race.
In a speech after the filing, President Duterte wished Senator Go the best in his quest for the vice presidency.
He explained that he suddenly dropped out of the race because of the universal sentiment of the people.
“The overwhelming sentiment of the Filipino is that I am not qualified and it would be a violation of the Constitution to circumvent the law, the spirit of the Constitution,” he said.
“And so, in obedience to the will of the people, who after all placed me in the presidency many years ago, I now say, sa mga kababayan ko, sundin ko ang gusto niyo (to my countrymen, I will follow your wishes),” he added.
“Today, I announce my retirement from politics. Salamat po sa inyong lahat (Thank you all),” he continued.
Duterte earlier said that he will run for vice president to continue his programs and because of his “love of country.” He even accepted PDP-Laban’s nomination for him to pursue the said post.
However, President Duterte only placed second based on the recent Pulse Asia Vice Presidential Preference survey. He is 11 points behind Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III who topped the survey with a score of 25.
Despite this, Malacañang expressed confidence that the Chief Executive is still the person everyone should watch out for.
“Be that as it may, the President remains the candidate to beat in the 2022 elections,” Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque said.