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After his tenure ends, Duterte plans to spend more time with his family, according to the Palace.

When President Rodrigo Duterte’s term ends on June 22, Malacanang announced that he will enjoy the benefits of being a private citizen and spend more time with his family.

Duterte’s withdrawal from the senatorial election, according to Acting Presidential Spokesperson Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles, is a “personal decision,” especially given his four decades of public service.

“After more than four decades of serbisyo sa taumbayan, it’s incredibly nice to spend time with his family” (of service to his countrymen). He wants to spend more time with his family,” he said in a Palace press briefing. “From prosecutor to mayor, deputy mayor, member of Congress, back to vice mayor, mayor, then president of the Republic of the Philippines – now he wants to spend time, more time with his family.”

Nograles revealed that some fans are still trying to persuade him to run for office. He did say, though, that Duterte had made up his mind.

“Even before he filed, political groups are already endorsing him for Senate, di ba maraming mga kandidato (a lot of candidates)?” So, marami talaga, nandoon iyong (there is) pressure na gusto nila magpatuloy si Pangulong Duterte (that they want President Duterte to continue), but at the end of the day, it is always a personal choice for everyone who runs or files for candidacy in whatever post,” he added.

Apart from wanting to spend more time with his family, Nograles believes that withdrawing from the senatorial election will allow Duterte to focus on the country’s response to Covid-19.

“Dahil po hindi na siya kandidato (Because he is no longer a candidate) for any position in the upcoming elections,” he said. “He can focus more on the Covid response, he can focus more on safely reopening our economy, he can focus more on continuing, if not even stepping up more of the public service.”

He also stated that in May 2022, Duterte will assure “peaceful, transparent, and fair” national and local elections.

Still in charge

Meanwhile, Nograles expressed confidence that Duterte’s decision to withdraw his certificate of candidacy (COC) for senator will be supported by the ruling Partido ng Demokratikong Pilipino-Laban (PDP-Laban).

“Yung (The) PDP-Laban will continue to support President Rodrigo Duterte in this decision and in whatever decisions he makes in terms of governance and public service up to the conclusion of his time as president,” he stated.

Despite Duterte’s and Senator Christopher “Bong” Go’s resignation from their respective 2022 election campaigns, Nograles believes the PDP-Laban will remain the most powerful political party.

“And, based on law and jurisprudence, the PDP-Laban will continue to be the dominant political party for the 2022 national and local elections,” he continued.

Duterte’s decision comes after his daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, sponsored his Senate campaign under the Lakas–Christian Muslim Democrats banner (Lakas-CMD).

Sara, who is currently running for vice president, previously stated that she supports her father’s decision to drop out of the Senate contest.

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