Duterte announces retirement from politics

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 2) – President Rodrigo Duterte announced on Saturday his retirement from politics.

“In obedience to the will of the people, I now say sa mga kababayan ko, sundin ko ang gusto ninyo (to my countrymen, I will follow what you want) — today, I announce my retirement from politics,” Duterte said in a short message at the Harbor Garden Tent of the Sofitel Manila Hotel in Pasay City.

Duterte accompanied his long time aide Sen. Bong Go who replaced him as the vice presidential bet of ruling political party PDP-Laban.

Go filed his certificate of candidacy for vice president and announced that he decided to run for the land’s second highest post after Duterte withdrew his nomination from the party.

RELATED: Bong Go to run for vice president in 2022

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque in a statement said Duterte will exhaust his last days as the top government official "guiding the country towards post-COVID-19 recovery."

Duterte will also "pro-actively campaign" for his 2022 bets to ensure continuity of the current administration's programs, he added.

Asked about Duterte's presidential bet, Roque said this will be disclosed "in due course."

Roque also said the President will "make sure that the conduct of the coming 2022 elections would be free, honest, peaceful and credible."

The President first confirmed during his weekly national address last Aug. 25 that he would run for vice president in next year's elections.

Days after the declaration, Duterte said he had decided to seek the post due to the lack of viable contenders in the vice presidential race. 

The President formally signed last Sept. 23 the Certificate of Nomination and Acceptance as the vice presidential candidate of PDP-Laban. 

Before his election as president in 2016, Duterte was a long-time mayor of Davao City. He also became a vice mayor and congressman of the city.