The maneuver is generally seen as an attempt to keep the people’s leader close to the center of power while avoiding constitutional term restrictions.

Published: September 08, 2021 14:57 |

Last updated: September 08, 2021 2:57 PM

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MANILA: The Philippine ruling party opened its national congress on Wednesday with delegates who will elect President Rodrigo Duterte as the vice-presidential candidate in the upcoming elections limit deadlines.

Duterte, 76, notorious for vulgar rhetoric and a crackdown on illegal drugs that killed thousands of mostly petty suspects, said late last month that he would accept the PDP-Laban’s nomination for next year’s vice president so he can “continue the crusade.”

About 400 members of the party gathered in San Fernando City, north of the capital, Manila, for Congress, while others attended online to comply with COVID-19 health protocols.

The party is the first to which holds a congress to select candidates for the national elections on May 9th.

Under Philippine law, the vice president is separated from the pre and Duterte’s party was also due to nominate a presidential candidate on Wednesday.

Duterte’s popularity has remained strong despite the Philippines battling the COVID-19 pandemic with rising infection and death rates and a slow adoption of vaccines.

Polls show strong support for Duterte running for president along with his daughter Sara Duterte – although he suggested he might drop out of the vice presidential race if she announces an offer for the top job.

Sara Duterte , 43, is currently the mayor of Davao City and a member of the regional HNP party, which she founded in 2018. She has supported her father’s party nationally.

Another name mentioned as a possible presidential candidate is Duterte’s longtime ally and former advisor to Senator Christopher “Bong” Go, although he told the party in late August, that he chose not to run for president. Analysts suspect the move may have been to pave the way for Sara Duterte to run.

Ahead of Congress, PDP Laban General Secretary Melvin Matibag said the party hopes to convince Go to accept and is pressing still on a Go-Duterte ticket.

Philippine presidents are limited to a single term of six years by the 1987 constitution. At least two former presidents, Joseph Estrada and Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, successfully ran for lower public offices after serving as president, but not for vice-presidents.

If Duterte continues his run, he will likely face trial by the opposition, although the Supreme Court has strongly supported the president’s moves in the past.

Critics of Duterte say his application for vice president is also an attempt to protect himself from possible prosecution by the International Criminal Court, which he said I found reason to believe that crimes against humanity were committed during Duterte’s anti-drug raid.

Hours before Congress, Senator Panfilo Lacson of the Partido Reporma, or Reform Party, started his candidacy for president with Senate President Vicente Sotto III as its vice-president. They vowed to give more responsibility to local governments and to regain public confidence in the institutions.

A rival faction from PDP-Laban, led by boxer and Senator Manny Pacquiao, who has been touted as a possible presidential candidate, will end this Another famous name that has suggested that he might announce a presidential candidacy is Ferdinand Marcos Jr., son of the overthrown dictator whose government was notorious for corruption.

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