Senator Christopher “Bong” Go has maintained his decision not to run for the presidency in the May 2022 national and local elections, despite appeals from his partymates to do so.
Go said in an interview that while he is grateful for the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino–Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban)’s trust and confidence in him when its National Executive Committee endorsed him as President Rodrigo Duterte’s running mate for the 2022 elections, he said he is already content serving the Filipino people as a senator.
“I am deeply honored by the trust and confidence of the members of the [PDP-Laban] National Executive Committee in my capability to run for presidency in the coming 2022 elections,” Go said when asked about his plan for the 2022 polls.
“Napakalaking bagay po ‘yung endorsement na ‘yun mula po sa mga kapwa miyembro ko po sa PDP. It’s a great personal honor for me. But, as much as I wish to respond to the clamor of many of my party mates, I most respectfully decline the said endorsement,” he added.
In a letter dated August 30 to party president and Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi, Go expressed his gratitude for the “trust and confidence” in him to be endorsed as presidential candidate and to run with President Duterte as vice presidential candidate. Go, on the other hand, made it clear that he politely declines the endorsement.
Cusi responded to Go later that day in a letter, saying that the party’s National Executive Committee understands his decision but is still committed to endorsing him as the PDP-Laban presidential candidate.
Cusi added that Go is “the best candidate to tandem with President Duterte” and that the two of them are “the best pair to lead our country forward.”
Despite his partymates’ constant support, Go stated that he is steadfast in his decision.
“Ako na po ang nakikiusap sa inyo na unahin n’yo na lang po ‘yung mga interesado, ‘yung mga gusto, ‘yung mga atat na atat na tumakbo bilang pangulo. Alam n’yo, kuntento na po ako sa trabaho ko bilang senador at siguro naman po makakapagserbisyo pa rin po ako bilang inyong senador,” said Go.
“Iyan naman po ang ipinangako ko sa mga kababayan natin – tulungan kayo na maiahon po tayo mula sa krisis na ito dulot ng COVID-19. ‘Yun po ang una kong konsiderasyon sa ngayon – tutukan muna itong pandemyang ito at malampasan natin. Ayaw kong pag-usapan po ‘yung pulitika. Dahil nakatutok po ako ngayon na malampasan muna natin itong krisis natin na tulungan po ‘yung mga mahihirap,” he added.
Meanwhile, Duterte may decide to run for vice president even if he does not have a running mate, according to Go.
“Yan sa ngayon, sa pagkakaalam ko po, wala. Pwede po siyang tumakbo bilang isang Bise Presidente na walang ulo. Ibig sabihin, magiging free for all ang kanyang ulo. So desisyon po iyon ng ating mahal na Pangulong Duterte as of today, na tatakbo po siya bilang Bise Presidente,” said Go.
Go stated that if Duterte decides to run for vice president, he will support him. He also expressed his support for a presidential candidate who can continue the progress that the current administration has begun.
“So ngayon naman po, ako, bilang isang Senador ay handa po akong sumuporta and, of course, sa ating mahal na Pangulong Duterte kung ano pong magiging desisyon niya, kung tatakbo po siyang Bise Presidente,” said Go.
“At sa Presidente naman po kung sino ‘yung makapagpapatuloy ng kanyang inumpisahang pagbabago, lalong-lalo na po ang kampanya laban sa korapsyon sa gobyerno, laban sa kriminalidad at laban sa iligal na droga, at dagdagan ninyo pa po ‘yung gobyernong nagmamalasakit sa kapwa Pilipino,” he added.
As the country grapples with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, Go stressed that he is now more inclined to serve the Filipino people until the country and its people have overcome the public health emergency,
“Unang-una rin sa ngayon, ‘yung COVID-19 response, paano natin maipagpapatuloy, malalampasan po itong pandemyang ito. Importante dyan, ‘yung katimbang ni Pangulong Duterte na kayang ipagpatuloy ang magagandang nagawa niya po,” he ended.