MANILA (Reuters) – Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has announced he will retire from politics, opening the way for his daughter to run for president in next year’s election.
Here is a timeline of some of the key events in Duterte’s term:
May 2016: Duterte, the former mayor of Davao City and nicknamed “The Punisher” for his anti-drug crusade in the city, is elected the Philippines’ 16th president by focusing almost entirely on crime, drug abuse and corruption.
Once in power, Duterte backs a war on drugs by police that officials say kills more than 6,100 suspected drug dealers. The United Nations say tens of thousands of people in the Philippines may have been killed since mid-2016 amid “near impunity” for police and incitement to violence by top officials. Duterte’s spokesperson says the “rehashed claims” of impunity are unfounded.
October 2016: On his first trip to China, Duterte turns his back on the Philippines’ decades-long ties with the United States to court Beijing, announcing the separation from the United States by saying “America has lost”.
He was asked: “So is it clear, Sara-Go?””It is Sara-Go,” Duterte said in response.When asked to confirm what the president said, Duterte-Carpio’s spokesperson, Mayor Christina Garcia Frasco told Reuters: “The extent of my knowledge is also what was reported in local news. We have no comment on the same.”
it obtained permission from the broadcast journalist to use the video showing Duterte outside a hotel in Manila where the registration of candidates was taking place, and that a transcript was also provided.
In the same clip, Duterte was asked when his daughter would file her candidacy for president, he said: “I really do not know. I do not have any idea at all”.
Asked if he had given his daughter permission to run for president, he said: “Ah, no, actually we don’t talk about politics, ever since we never talk about politics. I would say that it is for the better,” Duterte was quoted as saying.
Duterte, 76, said on Saturday he was retiring from politics, a surprise move that fuelled speculation he was clearing the way for a presidential run by his daughter.
He had been expected to run for the No. 2 job, a plan most Filipinos oppose as violating the spirit of the constitution which sets a one-term limit for the president to stop power being abused.
Duterte-Carpio’s mayorial re-election filing, did little to douse speculation she has her eye on the presidency.
A broadcaster asked him Saturday if it was “clear it will be Sara-Go”. Duterte responded: “It’s Sara-Go.”
Surveys have shown Sara Duterte, the son and namesake of former dictator Ferdinand Marcos, boxing great Manny Pacquiao and celebrity mayor Francisco Domagoso are the frontrunners among potential presidential candidates.
Pacquiao and Domagoso have announced they are running, while the other two have yet to confirm.
Sara Duterte has not responded to AFP’s request for confirmation.
Most of the top candidates have supported Duterte’s controversial drug war, and political analysts say VP Robredo could struggle to compete if she decides to run.
Filipino voters are willing to elect a female president but they want her to be “feisty”, said University of the Philipines political science professor Jean Franco.
“(VP Robredo is) too good, she’s too nice.”
Robredo, 56, narrowly won the nation’s second top job in 2016, defeating Marcos’ son and namesake.
Her victory dealt a blow to the political aspirations of the former dictator’s family, including a possible return to the presidential office.
The Philippines’ election season kicked off Friday as celebrities and political scions flocked to the offices of the elections commission to file their nominations.