President Rodrigo R. Duterte announced his retirement from politics after withdrawing from his vice presidential bid in the 2022 polls.

He made the pronouncement after accompanying Senator Christopher “Bong” Go, when he filed his Certificate of Candidacy (COC) last Saturday in the Sofitel Harbor Garden Tent in Pasay City to replace him as the vice presidential candidate of the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino–Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban).

Duterte said he decided not to run in the 2022 polls amid criticisms from some groups that the said move violates the “spirit” of the Constitution, which bars a president from being reelected. 

“So in obedience to the will of the people who after all placed me in the presidency many years ago, I now say to our kababayan, I would follow your wishes and today I announce my retirement from politics,” Duterte said. 

For his part, Go said he plans to continue the work of the current administration if he wins in the 2022 polls.

He said he plans to become a “working” vice president, who will not only become a “spare tire” of the elected president.

Among his advocacies will be to fight the proliferation of illegal drugs and criminality, help the marginalized, address the pandemic and push for the continuation of the major flagship infrastructure projects of the administration. 

“I am here to continue the real change that we aspire for. For my partymates in the PDP-Laban and other supporters of the advocacies of this administration. Do not worry, because we will not abandon you,” Go said in a brief speech. 

As of press time, PDP-Laban, which is led by Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi,  has yet to announce who it will endorse as its new standard bearer.

Go was supposed to be the presidential candidate by the Cusi-led PDP-Laban. 

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