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Philippines' Duterte withdraws candidacy for a senate seat

Philippines' Duterte withdraws candidacy for a senate seat

FILE PHOTO: Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte gestures during his fourth State of the Nation Address at the Philippine Congress in Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines July 22, 2019. REUTERS/Eloisa Lopez

MANILA: Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday (Dec 14) withdrew his candidacy for a senate seat, the election commission's spokesperson said.

Duterte's six-year term will end in June, 2022, and he is banned by the constitution from seeking another term as president.

It was not immediately clear why Duterte was dropping out of the senatorial race, but he had said in October he was retiring from politics. There was no immediate comment from his political party.

In a late night address on Monday, Duterte said his administration will "ensure an honest, peaceful, credible, and free elections" in 2022.

His run for the Senate had been seen as an attempt to remain in politics while facing an international probe into his deadly drug war.

His withdrawal does not necessarily mean he is planning to retire from politics after the elections in May. Under election rules, he could potentially substitute another candidate that shares his surname.
 
Duterte's daughter Sara is running for vice president while his son Sebastian is contesting the mayoral race in the family's southern stronghold of Davao City.

Earlier on Tuesday, Duterte's aide, Senator Christopher "Bong" Go, made official his decision to quit the presidential race after announcing last month he would no longer contest the country's top job.

Source: Agencies/nh

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