philippines duterte withdraws from 2022 senate race official - Philippines' Duterte withdraws from 2022 Senate race: Official

MANILA (AFP, REUTERS) – Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday (Dec 14) withdrew his candidacy for the 2022 Senate race, the government elections monitor said, a month after he made a last-minute entry into the contest.

“The President has filed his withdrawal from the Senatorial elections,” Mr James Jimenez, spokesman for the Commission on Elections office, said on Twitter.

It was not immediately clear why Mr Duterte was dropping out of the senatorial race, but he had said in October he was retiring from politics.

There was no immediate comment from his political party.  

Mr Duterte, 76, is constitutionally barred from seeking a second six-year term as president. 

His run for the Senate had been seen as an attempt to remain in politics while facing an international probe into his deadly drug war. 

His withdrawal does not necessarily mean he is planning to retire from politics after the elections in May.

Under election rules, he could potentially substitute another candidate that shares his surname. 

Mr Duterte’s daughter Sara is running for vice-president while his son Sebastian is contesting the mayoral race in the family’s southern stronghold of Davao City. 

Earlier on Tuesday, Mr Duterte’s aide, Senator Christopher “Bong” Go, made official his decision to quit the presidential race after announcing last month he would no longer contest the country’s top job.