President Rodrigo Duterte’s chosen successor Sen. Christopher “Bong” Go on Tuesday announced that he is withdrawing from the 2022 presidential race.
Go said he is dropping his presidential bid because he did not want to burden his long-time boss Duterte. The 76-year-old president is seeking a Senate seat in the coming elections.
“Ayaw ko ring maipit si Pangulong Duterte higit pa sa tatay ang pagmamahal ko sa kanya–matanda na po siya at marami na rin siyang naibigay para sa bayan, ayaw ko na pong dagdagan pa ang kanyang problema. Nananatili akong tapat sa kanya at nangako akong sasamahan ko po siya habambuhay,” he said in an ambush interview.
The senator also cited his family’s opposition for him to seek the country’s top elective post in explaining his decision.
“Napakahirap kung pasan-pasan mo habang nangangampanya ka ay nagre-resist ang pamilya mo, ang puso mo, ang isipan mo, paano ka makakapagkampanya nang mabuti? Kaya ang sabi ko marahil po ay hindi ko pa po panahon,” he added.
Go had initially filed but later withdrew his candidacy for vice president under the Cusi-led PDP-Laban faction after Duterte’s daughter Davao City Mayor Inday Sara Duterte-Carpio said she is vying for the vice presidency under Lakas-CMD.
He then registered his candidacy as president as a substitute bet of Pederalismo ng Dugong Dakilang Samahan (PDDS).
His exit as the administration bet leaves the ruling party PDP-Laban and PDDS without a standard-bearer.
Despite his withdrawal, Go’s first term as senator ends in 2025.
Thumbnail photo courtesy of Senator Bong Go’s official Twitter account