Manila: Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, 76, has accepted the ruling party’s vice-presidential endorsement, solidifying his bid to stay in a top government post once his term ends next year.
Duterte agreed to run due to “popular calls” within the PDP-Laban for him to seek the second-highest post, the party said in a statement on Tuesday. The ruling party, which will convene next month, is also seeking continuity in the administration’s economic and “war on drugs” agenda.
Duterte was making “the sacrifice” and heeding “the clamour of the people,” Karlo Nograles, executive vice-president of the party, said.
By law, Duterte is not allowed to seek a second term as president, but he has previously said he had unfinished business to complete.
His former aide, Senator Christopher “Bong” Go, in early August said he was open to running for president next year if the leader would be his running mate.
Duterte, who has portrayed himself as a reluctant president with no desire for power, has on several occasions said he wanted Go to be his successor. His endorsement in 2019 helped Go to become a senator, a post he carries out alongside his duties as Duterte’s personal aide.
An alternative has also been canvassed: that of Duterte running on a ticket with his daughter Sara, who succeed him as mayor of their home city of Davao on the southern island of Mindanao.
The mercurial former mayor’s critics have questioned the legality of him becoming vice-president because he could retake the top post if the president dies, resigns, or is removed from office.