Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte has abandoned a threat to quit politics and run for the senate after he won a close race to enter parliament.
The challenge from a rival candidate from his own party was dismissed by the president, who was sent back to office for his brutal “war on drugs”. His handpicked successor has vowed to continue the campaign.
“I’m not going to do it,” Duterte said at a victory rally outside the presidential palace, adding that he would not tolerate any attempts to restrict his power.
Duterte won his race against Ferdinand Marcos Jr, a son of the late dictator and the son of another man who ruled the Philippines as a dictator for 20 years.
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Duterte had said he was considering standing for the senate and promised to quit as president once that was confirmed.
Marcos was backed by the Catholic church and the powerful opposition party of the former president Benigno Aquino, as well as millions of Marcos’s fellow constituents.
He led the first election since Rodrigo Duterte took office in June, having threatened to quit in the months leading up to polling day.
Aquino’s father and brother, Ferdinand Marcos Jr and Ferdinand Marcos III, were also running for the senate, but lost to rival candidates backed by Duterte and his allies.
Duterte, who has long denigrated Aquino and his late father, refused to say who he was supporting in the polls.
The 80-year-old Marcos, who had said he would die in the campaign trail, won around 39% of the votes in the Senate poll, while Duterte received about 40%.
Campaigning was marred by public comments critical of Duterte, but his outspoken support for anti-terrorism law and mass graves crackdown, which rights groups say is fuelling a systematic campaign of murder, gave him an unassailable lead.
Duterte himself was unrepentant.
“They are [the Marcos family] just putting pressure on me not to run, that’s all,” he said.
He warned that any attempt to take away his powers would send him back to the hospital where he was admitted earlier this year with pneumonia.
He has previously admitted that he made an “irresponsible and foolhardy” decision to fire dozens of police for refusing to shoot dead drug suspects while he was out of the country.