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Philippines’ Duterte says will run for vice president in 2022

President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines has announced that he will run for vice president next year to continue his “crusade” against drugs and insurgents, a decision that critics say is a “smokescreen” motivated by fear of criminal charges.

Duterte, who was elected in 2016 and is forbidden from seeking re-election by the constitution, has previously expressed interest in running for the country’s second highest post.

“I will run for vice president,” Duterte said late Tuesday in a pre-recorded speech, confirming an earlier announcement by his PDP-Laban party that he had agreed to contest the position.

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“Then I will continue the crusade. I’m worried about the drugs, insurgency — well, number one is insurgency, then criminality, drugs.

“I may not have the power to give the direction or guidance, but I can always express my views in public.”

Duterte has conducted a deadly campaign against drug users and dealers since assuming office, which rights groups believe has murdered tens of thousands of people.

Prosecutors from the International Criminal Court (ICC) are attempting to open a complete investigation into the killings.

As Duterte sought to put an end to the decades-long struggle, he targeted communist fighters and their suspected supporters.

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