Sen. Christopher “Bong” Go on November 30 withdrew from the presidential race for the upcoming 2022 elections.
Go, a long-time aide of the President, formally announced he is dropping his candidacy for president during the wreath laying ceremony at the Pinaglabanan Shrine in San Juan for the 158th birth anniversary of Gat Andres Bonifacio. The President was invited as Guest in the said event.
In an interview, Go said he no longer wants to add problems to the 76-year-old President whom he loves as a father.
“I will remain truthful to my promise that I will accompany him in his lifetime,” said Go who filed last October his certificate of candidacy (COC) for vice-president under the ruling PDP Laban- Cusi wing.
But when presidential daughter Sara Duterte-Carpio filed her COC , also for VP, under the banner or Lakas-CMD, Go abandoned his vice-presidential bid to give way to the President’s daughter who formed an alliance with former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. who is running for president.
Being a vice-presidential contender for 40 days, Go said he has been campaigning around the country.
Last November 16, Go then filed his candidacy for president as a substitute for Pederalismo ng Dugong Dakilang Samahan’s (PDDS) initial standard bearer, Greco Belgica.
He said his family is against his move to run for president. “That is why I am withdrawing from the race,” he stated.
“I am a simple probinsyano given the opportunity to serve our people. I have no ambition to become a president. I just want to serve. Dahil ang bisyo ko po ay magserbisyo.”
Aside from not being a politician, Go related he did not come from a big or famous family. He was not accustomed to dirty politics.
“Having said this, I leave my fate to God and the Filipino people as I vow to do my best every day to serve selflessly and tirelessly. I am willing to make a supreme sacrifice for the good of our country, and for the sake of unity among our supporters and leaders,” he further stated.
“Just like the great Andres Bonifacio — the president who never was. Bonifacio had every great opportunity to lead our country as our president after leading a revolutionary movement that started our quest for liberty. But destiny had something different for him,” he said.
Vice-president and presidential bet Leni Robredo said that it was Sen. Bong Go’s right to quit the presidential race.
She said Go’s quitting the presidency will not affect her own campaign.
“Our journey is not relative to other candidates. We will just keep going. We are not affected by those who substitute or withdraw. To us, our goal is already clear,” she also said.
Partido Reporma Chairman and standard bearer Panfilo “Ping” Lacson said, “I only learned it now that Senator Bong Go officially withdrew, although he had indicated it for a while now. Even when we were in the lounge, he really would feel dejected, frustrated with the developments,” intimated Lacson.
“He was telling us, confiding in us both with the Senate President (Vicente “Tito” Sotto) when we’re in the lounge, in our tete-a-tete there before or during session breaks, he was saying ‘I don’t know how I got here because I was already happy… Even becoming a senator, I didn’t expect that I would become a senator,’” he added.
“When Go said he was ready to run for vice-president but this presidential run, this is something I don’t expect and I have not prepared for.”
Lacson pointed out this was an indication that Go was really half-hearted. “It seems he was forced,” added Lacson.
“That’s all I can say, and I wish him luck. We have an unwritten rule – if it’s a fellow senator, it’s a fellow senator, and you don’t – normally, as much as you can avoid it, you don’t speak ill of your colleagues in the Senate. So, good luck to Senator Bong Go, whatever his plans in life are henceforth. Good luck.”
Go still has three years left on his six-year Senate term. Lacson and Sotto, however, will step down from the Upper Chamber on June 30, 2022, regardless of the result of the May polls.
Furthermore, Lacson said he and Sotto have always been consistent in their position to just focus on their own advocacy and not mind whoever is running or withdrawing from the race.
Another presidential bet, Sen. Manny Pacquiao, who’s running under PROMDI said he just heard “rumors” about Go’s withdrawal. “I don’t think anything is final or formal yet,” said Pacquiao despite a video message wherein Go stated he’s withdrawing from the presidential race.
Another presidential aspirant, Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso said he will not refuse support from anyone, including the President, after Go backed out from the race.
“If they choose me, thank you, thank you in advance. But I don’t want to pre-empt their decision until they say so. For the meantime, I’m always hopeful,” said Domagoso, the standard bearer of Aksyon Demokratiko.
“Beggars can’t be choosers. I need all the help I can get from anyone, ordinary people, anyone. Because this is a serious battle, the Philippines is big,” pointed out Domagoso.
Meanwhile, Sen. Koko Pimentel, chairman of the Pacquiao wing in the PDP-Laban said the boxing champ will definitely finish the electoral bout. “And we expect to win,” he averred.
On the other hand, Energy Sec. Alfonso Cusi, president of the Cusi faction in PDP-Laban said he is sure Go did it for good reasons. He said PDP Laban respects and supports him.