Thu, 20 Jan 2022

MANILA - Senator Christopher "Bong" Go is appealing to supporters and critics alike not to doubt his intention to withdraw from the 2022 presidential race, insisting that he would formally file his statement of withdrawal before the Commission on Elections (Comelec) at the right time.

This, as he reminded his supporters not to hold "camp outs" and gatherings outside the Comelec office, Palacio del Gobernador in Intramuros, to convince him to pursue his 2022 bid.

"Sa aming mga supporters, nakikiusap ako na sana ay maintindihan ninyo ang aking desisyon. Huwag na po ninyo ituloy ang mga tarpaulins at iba pang pangangampanya. Pamasko niyo na lang sa akin na huwag na po kayong pumunta ng Comelec at magtipun-tipon dyan lalo na't delikado pa rin ang panahon dahil sa pandemya (To our supporters, I appeal that you understand my decision. Please stop using tarpaulins and other campaign materials. Think of it as a Christmas gift to avoid gathering at Comelec especially now that there's a pandemic)," he said in a press statement.

Citing the Comelec, Go said he had until May 9, 2022 to formally withdraw his candidacy.

He urged his supporters not to get their hopes up anymore.

"As a matter of principle, do not consider me as a candidate anymore dahil nakapagsalita na ako. Ang nagmamadali lang naman dito ay ang mga kalaban. Huwag na kayo magduda dahil nagpapakatotoo po ako sa tunay na saloobin ko (because I have already spoken. Those who are rushing me are probably my critics. Don't doubt me because I am only being true to my thoughts)," he added.

He said he would not have announced his plan to withdraw if he did not mean it.

"Kung desidido akong tumuloy, sana hindi ko na idineklara na magwiwithdraw ako. Relax lang po kayo. Sana ay respetuhin niyo na lang ang kahilingan ko. Ang Panginoon lang po ang nakakaalam kung saan tayo dadalhin ng ating tadhana. Sa ngayon, patuloy lang tayo sa pagseserbisyo. Maraming salamat sa inyong pag-unawa (If I had decided to push through, I would not have declared that I would withdraw. Just relax. I hope you will just respect my request. Only the Lord knows where our destiny will take us. For now, we just keep on serving. Thank you for your understanding)," he added.

Comelec Spokesperson James Jimenez said the long waiting game on who are officially running in 2022 may jeopardize the conduct of orderly polls.

"The prolonged uncertainty of whether a person is running or not is not conducive to orderly elections," Jimenez said in a press briefing. "I am actually concerned about the people who are waiting for him to make that decision... so far they've been exposed to the elements outside."

Meanwhile, Go acknowledged that he has been repetitive about his belief that it was not yet his time to run for the country's highest elected post.

He said he is ready to "sacrifice" for the sake of unity among all Filipinos, President Rodrigo Duterte, and his family.

"Uulitin ko po, higit pa sa tatay ang pagmamahal ko sa kay Pangulong Duterte at ayaw kong maipit sya, lalo na matanda na siya at ayaw ko nang dagdagan pa ang kanyang problema (I will repeat, I love President Duterte more than a father and I don't want to let him be in a situation where he's caught in the middle, especially since he is old and I don't want to add to his problems)," he said.

Go said even Duterte himself understood why his family was against his initial decision to run as president.

In a speech in Zamboanga City on Dec. 2, Duterte said he respects the decision of Go to withdraw from the presidential race even if it made a lot of people "sad."

"Ano ba talaga, Bong? Tatakbo ka o hindi (What is it, Bong? Are you running or not)? You have made a lot of people sad than happy. We respect your decision lalo na kung pamilya. Wala na tayong magawa diyan (especially if your family disapproves. We can't do anything about that)," Duterte said. (PNA)

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