Bong Go drops VP bid to run for president in 2022

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(Photo courtesy: Presidential Photos)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 13)— Senator Bong Go has dropped out of the vice presidential race and will instead seek the country's highest post in the 2022 polls.

Go on Saturday withdrew his bid for the vice presidency under PDP-Laban and subsequently filed his candidacy for president under the Pederalismo ng Dugong Dakilang Samahan (PDDS).

PDDS is an allied party of the PDP-Laban faction headed by Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi.

"Pangako ko sa inyo, walang isang oras at walang minuto ang masasayang. Magse-serbisyo po ako sa inyong lahat," Go told reporters in an ambush interview after the filing.

[Translation: I promise, no hour and minute will be put to waste. I will serve each and every one of you.]

The senator will replace PDDS' Grepor Belgica, who backed out of the presidential race.

Go's move came on the same day fellow Senator Ronald "Bato" dela Rosa — the standard bearer of PDP-Laban — also withdrew his candidacy for president. Dela Rosa said it was PDP-Laban's decision for him to pull out of the 2022 race.

'Legal complications'

Questions were raised when Go decided to list his name under PDDS and not the ruling party.

Officials explained the move was to avoid "legal complications" amid the ongoing row of two PDP-Laban factions.

"To avoid legal complications, we thought it wise na PDDS na lang muna siya (that he will run under PDDS for now)," Cusi said.

Earlier, presidential aspirant Senator Manny Pacquiao — who leads the other PDP-Laban wing — also filed his certificate of candidacy under a different party: PROMDI.

RELATED: Pimentel: Pacquiao's PROMDI candidacy meant to solidify bases

'Continuing the legacy'

If elected, Go vowed to continue the programs and initiatives started by President Rodrigo Duterte, who chairs their PDP-Laban group.

"I accepted the challenge," Go said. "Kung kailangan ko pong mag-step up, alang alang sa partido, at para lang po maipagpatuloy 'yung mga pagbabagong inumpisahan ni Pangulong Duterte."

[Translation: I accepted the challenge, if I need to step up for the party, and just to continue what was started by President Duterte.]

Go was the initial nominee of the ruling party for president in the 2022 elections, but the senator settled for a vice presidential bid when Duterte decided not to run for the post.

On Saturday, Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Martin Andanar said Duterte will now push through with his plan to run for vice president, but the chief executive has yet to confirm this.