President Rodrigo Duterte (MNS Photo)

MANILA, Dec 15 (Mabuhay) — President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday personally submitted his statement of withdrawal for senator in the May 2022 national and local elections.

Based on the statement of withdrawal, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) law department received the document at 4:59 p.m.

Duterte was accompanied by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea at the Comelec main office in Intramuros, Manila.

He submitted his statement of withdrawal hours after his former aide Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go withdrew his certificate of candidacy (COC) for president.

On November 15, Duterte through lawyer Melchor Aranas filed his COC for senator.

Duterte is a substitute candidate for the senate position under Pederalismo ng Dugong Dakilang Samahan party.

Malacañang confirmed Duterte’s withdrawal from the Senate race, saying it would allow him to better focus on managing the country’s pandemic response and sustain the progress made in safely reopening the economy.

“President Rodrigo Roa Duterte this afternoon filed his statement of withdrawal at the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) and will no longer be running for Senator in the May 2022 national elections,” acting presidential spokesperson Secretary Karlo Nograles said in a press statement.

Nograles said Duterte views his move as an opportunity to concentrate on efforts to ensure “transparent, impartial, orderly and peaceful elections” in May.

“After over four decades in public service, the President plans to retire from government to spend more time with his family when his term ends in June 2022,” he added. (MNS)

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