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Philippines President to run as “Vice President” in next election, opposition cries foul

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has accepted his party’s nomination to run as vice-president in the next election.

The constitution bars Mr. Duterte from a second term and rivals have accused him of seeking to cling onto power.

There has been speculation he would seek a politically weak running mate so that he could rule from the number two position, the BBC’s Celia Hatton says.

Mr. Duterte had urged senator and close ally Christopher “Bong” Go to succeed him, but Mr Go declined the party’s presidential nomination on Wednesday, saying that his “heart and mind are focused on serving people”.

While his party says it wants Mr. Go to reconsider his decision, his rejection of the nomination has led to suggestions that President Duterte’s daughter could join him on the ticket.

Sara Duterte Carpio has given mixed messages about running, despite leading every opinion poll conducted this year.

Mr. Duterte won the presidency in 2016 on a platform of crushing crime and fixing the country’s drugs crisis but critics say that he has encouraged police to engage in extrajudicial killings of suspects.

In June, the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court applied to open a full investigation into drug war killings in the Philippines, saying crimes against humanity could have been committed.

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