Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte announced his retirement from politics

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Philippines , now 76, said on Saturday he would retire rather than run for vice president next year. Barred by the Philippine Constitution from seeking a second term after his six years in office, previously Duterte said he would campaign for vice president in the upcoming election in May. A June opinion poll showed 60% of 1,200 Filipino adults surveyed believed his vice presidential run could violate the intention of the Constitution. „Today, I announce my retirement from politics,” he announced. Since coming to power in 2016, Duterte has presided over a brutal “war on drugs” that has left thousands dead, at least 6,600 people including children. Independent monitors believe the number could be much higher than that.

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Duterte’s announcement appeared to leave the race for president wide open, presenting a possible opportunity for Duterte’s popular daughter to run. She is mayor of Davao City and belongs to a different party. Boxing star Manny Pacquiao has also announced he is running for the presidency next year. Judges at the International Criminal Court (ICC) on Wednesday approved a formal investigation into possible crimes against humanity allegedly committed under Philippine . Prosecutors sustain that “the so-called ‘war on drugs’ campaign cannot be seen as a legitimate law enforcement operation,” but rather amounted to a systematic attack on civilians. In a July speech, Duterte lashed out at the court, saying he would continue his fight against drugs. “I have never denied (it), and the ICC can record it: Those who destroy my country – I will kill you,” he said.