Veteran broadcast journalist and former Vice President Noli de Castro announced on Wednesday his withdrawal from the senatorial race in the 2022 National Elections.
In a press statement, De Castro explained that he had a change of heart after he realized that he can serve the country more by staying in the field of journalism.
“These past few days, I seriously mulled my decision to return as a lawmaker. And recently, I prepared for the possibility of running for senator in the upcoming polls,” the former vice president said.
“What motivated me is my advocacy to serve again as the voice of the people in the Senate, especially the ordinary Filipinos whose sole desire is to have a comfortable, peaceful and dignified life amid the pandemic,” he said.
“I submitted my candidacy in the Comelec (Commission on Elections) last Friday but I had a change in plans. I would like to announce to all of my friends and supporters who were geared to help me that I decided not to continue with my candidacy,” he said.
On 8 October, De Castro filed his certificate of candidacy (CoC) for senator, 11 years after serving in the Chamber.
The broadcaster lodged his CoC a day after he bid farewell from his radio program in ABS-CBN and took his oath as a member of Aksyon Demokratiko party.
De Castro, who served as a senator from 2001 to 2004, had said that he wants to serve again as a lawmaker to continue the passage of at least 252 bills and resolutions he had proposed.
His withdrawal will not affect his advocacy as the broadcaster largely known through his moniker “Kabayan” vowed to continue being the “voice” of the Filipino people.
“As I pray to the Nazarene, I realized that I can help more by giving voice to the public through journalism,” he said. “My purpose and desire for the country will not change.”
Manila Mayor and Aksyong Demokratiko presidential candidate Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso said he respects De Castro’s decision.
“Vice President Noli has personal reasons for giving up his senatorial run, which we respect,” Moreno said.
“In truth, when my team was convincing him to run once more for the Senate, he contemplated it for a long time. We respect his decision to forego his re-entry into national politics, and wish him well because we know that he will continue to have the best interests of our people, as the Pambansang Kabayan, in his heart,” he added.
Aksyon Demokratiko chairperson Ernest Ramel expressed a similar sentiment, saying the former vice-president will continue to be a member of Aksyon Demokratiko.