The Palace said Wednesday it could adopt another presidential bet for the May 2022 elections in place of Senator Christopher “Bong” Go, who dropped out of the race Tuesday.
Acting presidential spokesperson Karlo Nograles said that the party can no longer field its own candidate once Go formalizes his withdrawal from the contest.
“The substitution period is already over,” Nograles told ANC’s Headstart, referring to election rules that allow the substitution of candidates only up to Nov. 15.
Go announced his withdrawal from the presidential race just two weeks after he substituted Gregor Belgica, the erstwhile standard bearer for the Pederalismo ng Dugong Dakilang Samahan’s (PDDS), which is allied with the ruling PDP-Laban.
Nograles said the party officials have yet to decide if this is the route PDP-Laban would take.
Asked if PDP-Laban could adopt the tandem of former senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, Nograles said: “Let’s wait for the statement of PDP-Laban and the decision of the party. We have not yet made that decision.”
“We’re also awaiting the formal withdrawal. But just the same, because an announcement has been made, the PDP-Laban has to meet and look at its options. We will make a statement immediately after we’ve come to an agreement,” he added.
Duterte-Carpio is the eldest daughter of President Duterte. The elder Duterte had wanted her to run for president.
Go said he was agonizing all throughout the days after he filed his candidacy for president on Nov. 16.
"I was indeed agonizing. I was suffering. I couldn’t concentrate on the campaign due to some heavy feelings," Go said.
The campaign itself, Go noted, has been a burden. He was unprepared to run for president because his focus was originally on the vice presidency.
“This campaign has been very stressful. President Duterte is already old. I don't want to burden him, I don't want to be a burden to him," Go added.
He said his family was also against his move to run for president.
The 76-year old President, who is seeking a Senate seat next year, is the No. 1 campaigner of Go.
The senator said he spoke with the President about his decision and that he accepted it.
Go went on to say that he and Duterte would rather concentrate on preserving his legacy. (See full story online at manilastandard.net)
“We talked the other night. And President Duterte understood me," Go said.
Go said he would support the presidential candidate the President endorses.
“Let us just wait [to see] who will be supported by President Duterte. I am one with the President," he said.
"What is important is somebody who can continue the reforms initiated by President Duterte," he added.
Senator Imee Marcos, meanwhile, said the Marcos camp was “heartbroken” by Duterte’s “almost violent reaction” to his daughter running as her brother’s vice president.
"Frankly, we were heartbroken by the almost violent reaction of the President," Imee said in an interview with ABS-CBN in their home province of Ilocos Norte. “We are not the enemy. That is very, very clear. We’ve been allies, we’ve been supporters, and it goes way back.”
After Duterte-Carpio announced her decision to run with Marcos, the President attacked her running mate as “a spoiled and weak leader.”