Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte Declares Retirement from Politics

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte Declares Resigning from Politics
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte Declares Resigning from Politics (WikimediaCommons/Ceslou)

On May 9, 2022, the Philippines will choose its leader for better or worse. Some candidates will vie for  Philippine president, while others are happy to stay in their current position. Others will apply for a new role, while others will leave the chaotic world of politics.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte declares his resignation from politics. He no longer plans to run as vice president in the coming May 2022 elections.

Philippine president has “enough” of the politics

“The overwhelming … sentiment of the Filipinos is that I am not qualified, and it would be a violation of the constitution to circumvent the law, the spirit of the constitution. Today, I announce my retirement from politics,” said the outgoing Duterte.

The Philippine Constitution limits presidents only to have a single-six-year term. Challengers will surely contest Duterte’s legality of running as vice president before the Supreme Court. His move to back out only fuelled the speculation of giving his daughter, Sara Duterte-Carpio, to run as president. The younger Duterte replaced his father as Davao mayor.

Aspirants have until October 8 to register. However, withdrawals and substitutions are allowable until November 25. It leaves an extent for “in the nick of time” change of mind. Remember his last-minute filing for the presidency in the 2016 election, where he won by a considerable margin.

He won in 2016 as Philippine president with the sole issue of fighting crimes in the country, particularly drugs. During his campaign and term as the chief commanding officer,  he repeatedly endorsed the police to “eliminate” drug suspects. The older Duterte took office in June 2016 and immediately rolled out his ruthless campaign. Catholic leaders called it a “reign of terror.”

Extrajudicial killings on the rise

Based on the latest government data, police and other security forces annihilated 6,117 suspected drug dealers. However. in June 2020, the United Nations showed that people who died from extrajudicial killings are at least 8,600. Human rights organizations said that the number of deaths is between 27,000 and 30,000. They condemn the authorities for effecting summary executions that wiped out innocent suspects, including children.

According to a UN investigation, those killed comprised at least 73 children, as young as five months old. Several other people died because of “unknown” gunmen but turned out to be policemen.

No need for Covid-19 booster shots

Meanwhile, the Philippine president said that the Filipinos no longer need a Covid-19 booster shot. He said it is risky to get multiple vaccinations. Duterte also noted that receiving more than two recommended doses can induce health risks. It can increase dangerous levels of antigens. Additionally, it can revive an already “dead” virus and make them immune to the vaccine.

He added that those who will get multiple vaccinations are stripping their fellow countrymen of the vaccine’s benefit. The Philippine president requested fully vaccinated individuals to think of others who didn’t get their shots yet. Duterte announced as his administration expanded the coverage of the inoculation program to a more significant population. It includes minors with comorbidities such as high blood pressure and allergies.

The country is not yet administering booster shots. However, the Vaccine Experts Panel highly suggests giving them to health workers for additional protection. So far, 21,103,317 individuals are fully vaccinated, while 24,044,260 already got their first vaccine shot.