Philippine leader Duterte announces retirement from politics

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Saturday announced he was retiring from politics and dropping plans to run for vice president in next year’s elections when his term ends, paving the way for his politician daughter to make a possible bid for the top post.

Speaking before reporters, Duterte said many Filipinos have expressed their opposition to his vice-presidential bid in surveys and public forums.

“The overwhelming sentiment of the Filipino is that I’m not qualified, and it would be a violation of the constitution,” Duterte said. “In obedience to the will of the people.”

“I will follow what you wish and today I announce my retirement from politics,” he added.

The 76-year-old leader, known for his deadly anti-drugs crackdown, brash rhetoric and unorthodox political style, earlier accepted the ruling party’s nomination for him to seek the vice presidency in the May 9 elections. The decision outraged many of his opponents, who have described him as a human rights calamity in an Asian bastion of democracy.

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