Bong Go withdraws from 2022 presidential race

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 30) — Senator Christopher "Bong" Go on Tuesday announced that he is withdrawing from the 2022 presidential race, denying he was pressured to drop his bid.

Go said his family has been against his decision to run for the highest office. He added he accepted the challenge to run because he felt the need to follow the order of his party PDP-Laban, chaired by President Rodrigo Duterte.

"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 said in an interview.

[Translation: It's hard to campaign when you are carrying the burden that your family, your heart, and mind is against it. I said maybe it's not my time yet.]

He said he talked to Duterte the other night, who understood that he has been in agony since substituting for the presidential candidacy of Senator Ronald "Bato" dela Rosa. He said he decided to withdraw early on since he didn't want to burden Duterte.

Go said the President, whom he has closely served for decades, respected his decision.

"Ako ang pinatakbo niya. Mangangampanya siya, magsasalita siya dito sa entablado. Sa dumi ng politika, along the way mas mahihirapan si Pangulong Duterte. Ayaw ko pong mahirapan siya mangampanya para sa akin," he added.

[Translation: He asked me to run. He will campaign for me. Politics will be hard for President Duterte. I don't want him to have a hard time campaigning for me.]

Go surprised the public when he filed his candidacy for vice president under PDP-Laban after Duterte backed out from the vice presidential race.

He then dropped his VP bid after presidential daughter Sara Duterte opted to run for the same post with Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos as her running mate. Go opted to run for president under Pederalismo ng Dugong Dakilang Samahan (PDDS) because the rift between the two factions in PDP-Laban is undergoing poll body review. The PDP-Laban faction headed by Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi has formed an alliance with PDDS.


With Go dropping out of the race, Duterte's endorsement is now available for all candidates.

Go said he has yet to talk to Duterte about the candidate they are supporting, even keeping mum if they will back the bid of Sara Duterte.

"Kami ni Pangulong Duterte ay susuporta sa kandidatong makakapagpatuloy ng magagandang programa ni Pangulong Duterte," he said.

The lawmaker added, "Wala akong ambisyon kaya willing ako mag-sacrifice for the sake of unity among our supporters."

[Translation: President Duterte and I will support the candidate who can continue the good programs of the administration. I don't have an ambition so I am willing to sacrifice for the sake of unity among our supporters.]