Duterte Gets Party’s Push to Stay in Power After Term Ends

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s political party has urged him to run for vice president in the 2022 elections, charting a possible path for him to stay in a top government post after his term ends next year.

Duterte’s political party PDP-Laban on Monday passed a resolution that also urges him to choose a presidential candidate, according to the group’s live-streamed assembly. Under Philippine law, a president can only be elected for a single six-year term.

Earlier in the day, Duterte’s spokesman Harry Roque said the president “leaves it to God” whether or not he will seek the nation’s second-highest elected post. “If the President thinks it is God’s will, he will make the proper announcement in due course,” Roque said.

The push for Duterte’s vice-presidential run is a way for him to remain in power and immune from criminal charges after his presidency, said Earl Parreno, political analyst and author of a biography on the president. It could also be part of a plan to boost the chances of Duterte’s aide, Senator Christopher “Bong” Go, for the top job, Parreno added.

“Duterte and Go are running the country now. We will have more of the same six years if they win,” Parreno said. He added that the president is unlikely to have his daughter, Mayor Sara Duterte, as his running mate, because they would want to also stay in power in their home city Davao.

Sara was the public’s top choice to be the next president, based on Pulse Asia Research Inc.’s survey last quarter. Duterte has repeatedly opposed the idea of his daughter succeeding him.

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