Rodrigo Duterte has dominated politics in the Philippines since becoming president five years ago, with an anti-drug crusade blamed for thousands of extrajudicial killings and a pressure campaign against opposition leaders and the news media.

Now, with mere months left in his six-year term, his opponents fear he is laying the groundwork to stay in power for years to come.

Duterte announced this week that he intended to run for the vice presidency in the elections next May. Critics say it is a blatant attempt by Duterte, 76, to save himself from his "political sins” as he confronts possible prosecution by the International Criminal Court. An ICC report last year said there was sufficient evidence to show that crimes against humanity had been committed in Duterte’s bloody drug war, which has left thousands dead.